2017 | Business

Westfield Buys Sears Store in Its Bethesda Mall

Shopping center company gets three stores, including the Bethesda location, in $105 million deal

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Sears at Westfield Montgomery.

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Sears sold its Westfield Montgomery store to the mall company, according to a spokesman for the department store.

Sears Holdings, which owns Sears, sold the Bethesda store as part of a $105 million package deal that includes two other stores to the Westfield Group, which operates the Bethesda and Wheaton malls and others internationally, said Howard Riefs, director of communications with Sears.

Sears will remain open in Bethesda and lease its location from the mall.

“We expect that this transaction will have no impact on our current day-to-day operations and the overall shopping experience for our members,” Riefs wrote in an email this week.

The Washington Business Journal, which first wrote about the sale, reported the Bethesda store location was sold for $73.5 million.

Riefs said the majority of Sears locations are leased. The other two store locations sold in the deal were both in California.

Sears Holdings, which also owns Kmart stores, announced this year it would be closing more than 150 stores to curtail losses from declining sales, Business Insider reported. Reifs wrote the sale of the Bethesda store location was an effort to “unlock value and increase liquidity.”

Catharine Dickey, executive vice president of communications for Westfield, said such property deals allow the company to potentially redevelop retail spaces.

“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,” she wrote in a statement. “Such transactions ensure the ability to effectively redevelop the property in the future.”