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Niketown closing in May


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POSTED: Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Niketown, the lone anchor remaining at King Kalakaua Plaza in Waikiki, will be closing its doors by the end of May after an 11-year run.

The Waikiki store is one of four locations total that Nike Inc. of Beaverton, Ore., decided to shut down this year, in addition to a Nike Factory Store in Darien, Ga., Nike Store in Skokie, Ill., and Nike Store in Santa Clara, Calif.

A total of about 120 employees at all four sites have been laid off, and will be offered severance packages. Nike declined to break down the numbers for each store.

“;As a normal course of business, we have and will continue to review our retail fleet to ensure we are creating value for consumers and driving profitability,”; said Nike spokeswoman Mary Remuzzi. “;We decided to close Niketown Honolulu as a result of this review of retail.”;

Niketown, an original anchor for the King Kalakaua Plaza, opened its doors in 1998.

Its impending closure follows a string of several other closures in recent months, including Brew Moon and E&O Trading Co. at Ward Centre. Banana Republic, another anchor at the plaza, shut its doors in January.

The closure will leave King Kalakaua Plaza at 2080 Kalakaua Ave. empty of any retail tenants.

The four-story plaza measuring 77,384 square feet, meanwhile, is listed on the market by CB Richard Ellis for $7 million. NIketown occupies about 35,000 square feet.

Nike Inc. reported a 28 percent decline in comparable store sales for Nike-owned stores in the third quarter, due mostly to lower traffic. The company's plans include a reduction in staff and consolidation of its manufacturing base.

“;You're seeing declines in retail sales all over,”; said Honolulu retail analyst Stephany Sofos. “;Businesses are contracting and going into more primary markets to shore themselves up.”;

Sofos called King Kalakaua Plaza a great opportunity for the right developer — possibly into high-end retail — at the gateway to Waikiki.

Remuzzi could not confirm whether there would be a closeout sale yet, but said Nike will continue to serve consumers through its existing stores, retail partners and online at nike.com.