As Sears Declares Bankruptcy and Closes Many Locations, the Fate of Pasadena’s Hasting Ranch Store Hangs in the Balance

Published : Sunday, October 14, 2018 | 9:13 PM

Sears Holdings Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early Monday after it reportedly reached a deal with lenders that would allow the retailer to keep hundreds of its stores open through the holidays. The retailer will immediately close 46 stores this month,  another 146 money-losing stores by January 1, and possibly more after that.

The ultimate fate of the Pasadena store, located in the 3800 block of East Foothill Boulevard in Hastings Ranch Plaza, remains unknown.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Sears has lined up $1.875 billion in bankruptcy financing to pay off its existing loans and fund its stores pending the chapter 11 case, about $300 million more than what the company had before the filing.

Sears’ East Pasadena location has been a neighborhood mainstay for six decades.

The Pasadena store opened in September 1958. In 2003, it underwent a $5 million renovation. The store recently downsized, splitting its floor space approximately in half with a Home Goods store.

“To read about Sears filing for bankruptcy and possibly going out of business makes me sad because I grew up with Sears,” Pasadena City Council Member Gene Masuda said. “For years, when I went into the Sears store in East Pasadena, there were hardly any shoppers, yet I would buy tools that I needed. We bought many household items and school clothes for my son who got his first job at Sears as a cashier while in high school.”

Masuda said any news about Sears’ future is personal in a sense, since the once-giant retailer has a long history in the community.

Pasadena Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Paul Little said he hopes Sears could continue to keep its doors open here.

“We have been very lucky that Sears in East Pasadena remains open,” Little said. “The challenge they face is similar to the one they created in the 19th century – the markets and goods delivery have changed and their business model hasn’t been able to adjust to competition from Amazon and Walmart.”

In May, Sears closed 72 Sears and Kmart stores as sales plunged and losses continued to grow. The Pasadena store was spared as has been several times in recent years.

On Monday, Sears could announce the closure of at least 150 stores, media reports said, while another 250 go under evaluation.

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