Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Sears sells Bethesda store to Westfield for $73.5 million

Sears Holdings has sold the Bethesda Sears store at Westfield Montgomery Mall to the Westfield Corporation, according to Katy Dickey, Executive VP of Corporate Communications at Westfield. Inquiries to Sears Holdings had not been returned as of press time. Karen Goff of the Washington Business Journal reports that the purchase price was $73.5 million.

Westfield provided the following statement regarding their purchase of the Bethesda Sears:

"Westfield has a long and strong track record of recovering former department store real estate for the benefit of our shopping centers and the communities we serve. Such transactions ensure the ability to effectively redevelop the property in the future."

The sale puts the future of one of the more solid Sears stores in the country in serious doubt for the first time. Sears Holdings is attempting to show positive net income for the first quarter via this and other liquidation of their real estate assets. Investors seem to be wise to the fact that liquidating assets isn't a long term success strategy - Sears Holdings stock dropped significantly last week.

It's clear that "Fast Eddie" Lampert is more committed to protecting himself and cashing in personally, than to the survival of the iconic Sears brand. Sears not owning the building for one of its most promising stores is a strong hint that Lampert is managing an exit, rather than a comeback.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who's the buyer and what now becomes of this store? I'm surprised Sears would sell a location like this or any other. What's the up side for the buyer when Sears probably will fold eventually?

Anonymous said...

Sold to Westfield. Ok. I got it now.

Anonymous said...

They sell it to the shopping center, which gives the centers more flexibility in re-development and/or management.
The store will usually sign a lease, which may or may not be tied to the sale.

I expected Sears to close up a few years back or return to their old small town "catalog stores" , where they had tools, appliances, home goods and a counter for catalog orders for everything else, these days would be online orders.

I'm still reeling from them selling off Craftsman brand.

Anonymous said...

At least Black & Decker bought Craftsman and their tools will still be available. The fact that Sears is having trouble at all is amazing. Over a hundred year old American company potentially gone is a real buzz kill.

Anonymous said...

No hat-tip to the reader who posted the link to the Bizjournal article several days ago?

Anonymous said...

It's different when Dyer does it.

Anonymous said...

Does this include the Sears Auto Center as well?

Anonymous said...

"The sale puts the future of one of the more solid Sears stores in the country in serious doubt for the first time"

All that foot traffic you see in Sears is just mall customers who park in the vacant parking lot next to it, passing through it without actually buying anything.

Anonymous said...

How come no mention of Kit & Ace in Bethesda Row's immanent closing?

#Scooped

Anonymous said...

6:29 - Thanks! That was me. I like this blog but come on, that wasn't hard to find. We still don't know what in the world Westfield intends to do with it though. I can guess. Liquidate and close it.

Anonymous said...

Correct. Sears is beyond sad.

Robert Dyer said...

6:12: The anonymous commenter did NOT post a link, just a rumor. I then contacted Westfield and Sears to confirm. After Westfield confirmed they had purchased it, I checked the internet to see if other Sears were sold. I found no reports, but did find the Business Journal report with the sale price.

Don't lie.

Robert Dyer said...

6:45: I reported that several days ago. #moron

Anonymous said...

6:44 - This is not, I repeat NOT a top tier Sears.
https://seekingalpha.com/article/4043569-sears-holdings-history-selling-top-locations

Anonymous said...

What's happening here is Sears needs cash, so Westfield bought their property, and will lease it back to Sears. It's a win for both sides, since Westfield isn't stuck trying to find a tenant for such a big space, and Sears gets to stay in business there while getting some cash to help with their overall failing business.

Now if only Sears were to improve quality, customer service, and product offerings...

Anonymous said...

Dyer Liar Pants On Fire!

http://robertdyer.blogspot.com/2017/04/haagen-dazs-closes-at-westfield.html?showComment=1493570030353&m=1#c4473541642199535192

Anonymous said...

Sears is looking to sell the whole Sears Auto Store chain.

Anonymous said...

Sears is no longer a department store, they are an REIT. They have already indicated that they are close to bankruptcy. They are steadily selling off parts of their carcass. They sold this site now while they could get a good price, instead of going to a bankruptcy sale.

This store won't close tomorrow. It won't close next month. But it will close soon.

Anonymous said...

Robert,
The original poster didn't post a link. I did. It wasn't a rumor, it had already been reported. If you don't subscribe to Biz Journal, I'm shocked based on what you do.

Anonymous said...

"The sale puts the future of one of the more solid Sears stores in the country in serious doubt for the first time:

From the antediluvian date of January 15, 2017:

http://robertdyer.blogspot.com/2017/01/sears-not-closing-in-bethesda-and-heres.html?m=1

Just you, Birdbrain. Just you. LOL

Anonymous said...

10:14 AM clearly had an unhappy childhood

Anonymous said...

Dyer @7:29 AM

A Four Pinnochio award winning comment.

Elias Tsakiris said...

Is the Sears at Westfield Montgomery Mall closing?

Robert Dyer said...

12:47: Not immediately. They are going to lease their space back from Westfield, and continue operating for the time being.

Anonymous said...

Thank Heaven! That Sears store is pathetic - as someone above noted, the only traffic is people cutting through from the parking lot. I feel like I need a shower every time I walk through - there is quite literally no reason to ever shop at Sears - other than nostalgia.

Sears + Sears Auto are prime locations closest to Rock Spring - and the future BRT terminus.

Robert Dyer said...

8:52: I don't know what the guy is linking to, but I never saw a link posted. There was a tip. I contacted both companies. Before they responded, a second comment was posted asking why I hadn't reported on it yet, and I said I indeed had followed up on it, and was waiting for a response.

If there had been a link, I wouldn't have had to contact the companies!

Don't be shocked about the business journal. I have many, many more Bethesda scoops than they do. And I'm not in the aggregation business. Unless it's a major story, I don't like rehashing old news. There's plenty of fresh content to report, so I'm not really interested in something the business journal has already reported yesterday.

Rans Hiemer said...

Dyer likes to plagiarize the business journal though!

Robert Dyer said...

7:12: I linked directly to the Business Journal, moron, even though they were not the source from which I heard about the sale. Too bad Bethesda Magazine isn't as conscientious.

Anonymous said...

Too bad Lord & Taylor will not follow Sears' example.

Anonymous said...

I hope they don't. I love L&T.