HOWS Market Announces It Is Closing with a Clearance Sale
• New Ownership Has Taken Over Redesign and Construction Work to Update the Old Trancas Center
BY BILL KOENEKER
It's official. The banner at HOWS Trancas market says it all. The store is closing.
Rumors flew all weekend in western Malibu about the market located in the Trancas shopping center, after an announcement was made to employees that the store is being shuttered.
HOWS spokesperson Mark Oerum, who has been in charge of store operations, confirmed, "We are closing. We will be out of here by the end of August," he said.
Linda Bernhardt, the spokesperson for Loeb & Loeb, the law firm that oversees the operations for the center's owners said, "We confirm that both the owners and HOWS have mutually agreed to terminate the lease."
She went on to say a new company has been hired by the owners to manage the makeover and expansion of the center, including construction.
That new firm, the Rosch Company will be making an announcement of its plans, including any new tenants, in two weeks, according to Bernhardt.
The Missouri-based company recently set up an office in Los Angeles, according to its website.
Oerum, the O in HOWS, explained that the HOWS partnership is being dissolved. Currently, there is only the one remaining store in Pasadena, which was sold to David Wolff, the W in HOWS.
The H stands for the late Roger Hughes. The S stands for Steve Strickler.
The Trancas store will be shuttered shortly. All of the other stores are either closed or sold.
Oerum said the lease was almost finished on the Trancas store and they wanted to get out after summer. He said currently the store is having a clearance sale.
Oerum said he did not know what would happen to the site at this time. At the beginning of the end, the management said they hoped the stores could all be sold as a single package, but no such luck.
Oerum said since the economy has been so bad, all they had were lookers.
He acknowledged one of the chains that looked at the store was Fresh and Easy. He said nothing came of it, and he did not know if they were still involved in any kind of negotiations with the landlord.
HOWS was started by Roger Hughes and some of the executives from Hughes corporate after the Hughes Markets were sold.
Hughes died last year, the economy soured and family members apparently signaled a desire to dissolve the partnership.
"I enjoyed myself for 28 years in this business, but the last two were horrible," Oerum said.
The Trancas shopping center was recently sold to its current owners, who are heirs to the Walmart fortune.
In 2006, the Malibu Bay Company sold the 25,521 square foot shopping center to Chicago-based Trancas Market LP for reportedly $20 million.
La Salle Investment Management Inc. in Chicago was involved in the purchase.
The center has a long history in Malibu and was one of the first commercial sites at the west end of the community. It was originally called The Malibu Trading Post.