Sears CEO’s Master Plan To Profit Off The Demise Of His Stores Is Taking A Turn For The Worse

by MR Magazine Staff

A bustling San Diego mall that’s home to high-end stores like Nordstrom, Tiffany, and Restoration Hardware is defying the decline of shopping centers across the US and undergoing a massive $700 million expansion. One store in the mall — Sears — won’t survive long enough to reap the benefits of the redevelopment. Desperate for cash, Sears Holdings sold the property in 2015, along with dozens of other prime locations, signing deals to rent the space from its new owner. Now the company that bought those outlets is pulling the plug on the San Diego store, which has been an anchor of the Westfield UTC shopping center for more than 40 years. Seritage Growth Properties, the real-estate owner, has already siphoned off a chunk of the store and leased it out to Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn Kids. This summer, it will take over the rest. It’s a lucrative move for Seritage. As Sears retreats from one of its most promising locations and fires dozens of employees, Seritage says it can triple the rent by turning the space over to the new high-end tenants. This same scenario is playing out across the country, as Seritage picks up the pace of its takeovers of Sears stores. Seritage also reached new agreements in April to take over the entire Sears store at Aventura Mall in Miami, Florida — one of the most profitable malls in the country — and at malls in Dallas, Texas; Carson, California; and Charleston, South Carolina. It has already leased partial space in 123 Sears stores to other tenants, and it has completely taken over 24 stores. Read more at Business Insider.