Sears to Close at Westfield Topanga

Say farewell to the Sears at the Westfield Topanga.

Since 1996, the Sears location had sold apparel for men, women and children as well as jewelry, electronics, home goods and appliances to the West Valley area of Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, but it will close in May, a spokesman for Hoffman Estates, Ill.–headquartered Sears Holding Corp. confirmed. Before moving to the Westfield Topanga location, Sears had been in the Canoga Park neighborhood since 1964.

Howard Riefs, Sears’ director of corporate communications, said the 122 employees of the Westfield Topanga Sears will be able to apply for open positions at different Sears or in the company’s Kmart division stores in the area or they will receive a severance.

In December, Sears announced that it will close 235 locations around the country.

“Store closures are part of a series of actions we’re taking to reduce ongoing expenses, adjust our asset base and accelerate the transformation of our business model. These actions will better enable us to focus our investments on serving our customers and members through integrated retail—at the store, online and in the home,” Riefs wrote in an email.

The closure at Westfield Topanga comes at a time when the high-end center—the retail mix includes locations for Burberry, Gucci and Louis Vuitton as well as Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom—is in the midst of a $350 million project to construct The Village, an outdoor extension of the retail center. The Village is scheduled to take a bow in the fall.

Katy Dickey, a Westfield spokesperson, said the Sears is not located close to the site of The Village. Westfield will be sorry to see the Sears move, she said. “We view this departure as an opportunity to do so at Topanga and will identify, explore and evaluate a range of new prospects for the center,” she noted in a statement.

Sears shoppers won’t have to drive far from Westfield Topanga. There’s a Sears located four miles away in Northridge, Calif., and another, 12 miles away, in North Hollywood.

In December, Sears Holdings announced that same-store sales for its domestic Sears stores declined 0.7 percent for the third quarter of its 2014 fiscal year. Same-store sales for its Kmart division increased 0.5 percent.

Third-quarter revenue for the company was $7.2 billion, down from $8.2 billion in the same quarter in the previous year.

Sears also announced new revenue streams recently. It will become a landlord. In October, it reported that it will be leasing space to European fashion retailer Primark for seven standalone stores. Two were announced to move into East Coast locations. The other five locations have not been announced.