UPDATE:

Sears has since announced that the store will remain open until 2014, a year longer than first reported.

A Hawaii mainstay will soon become a main-be-gone. Ala Moana’s Sears has been around since the mall opened in 1959, but due to poor business, the department store will say good bye come early next year. This leaves many longtime customers – both locals and visitors alike – feeling nostalgic but at the same time, curious as to what shop(s) will replace the vacant space. So far, other Sears located throughout the state will remain opened.

Aloha, Sears! The Ala Moana store will be closing next year.

I stopped by the store this past weekend after word got out that Sears would be closing…can you say CLOSE-OUT SALES? And apparently, I wasn’t the only one with that idea; customers scurried throughout the store’s three levels, looking for anything that had to do with footwear, flowers, hardware, homeware, clothing or cast-iron cookware. Sears has everything you could possibly need or want, and it’s where I remember going with Mom and Aunty at the end of every summer as kids. Lucky for my cousins and I, Aunty had the employee discount, which we got to take advantage of when shopping for new school outfits.

My sense of fashion, I suppose you could call it, has since evolved; I haven’t been to Sears in years. So this weekend’s little escapade through aisles of nostalgia left me with a pair of two super-cheap shoes in hand – boots and flats, yeeyuuuh. While at the register, I casually asked the cashier what she thought of all the close-out craze. She said it was nice to be so busy again, since they experienced a slow period for the past year or two, but she was sad to see it go.

I noticed a lot of tourists in the store as well, looking at the aloha print items – from shirts to car seat covers to coolers. Many small Hawaii companies sell their stuff in Sears, which makes Sears much more local than any other department store in Hawaii. If you’re planning to camp or barbecue while in the islands, then Sears has an entire floor dedicated to that stuff, so consider checking them out for a good deal or two. Snorkel and swim gear? Check out Sears Ala Moana.

And as an era of retail comes to an end, customers can only look forward to more stores, with more stuff, to weigh down their shopping bags.

SEARS ALA MOANA • 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96814 • Opens Mon-Fri 930am-9pm; Sat 9am-9pm; Sun 930am-7pm • Expected to permanently close early 2013 • 808-947-0211 • Find other locations at www.sears.com

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