A rival retailer is reportedly blocking the plans of Nordstrom Inc. to open a full-line store at Ala Moana Center, Hawaii’s largest shopping mall.

The Seattle-based clothing retailer said Wednesday that rival retailer Liberty House has refused to approve its entry. Although anchor mall tenants Sears and J.C. Penney approved Nordstrom’s entry, Liberty House is taking advantage of a provision in its lease that prohibits new retail buildings between storefronts and streets without the approval of the anchor tenants.

Nordstrom began serving customers in Hawaii in the late 1960s through its agreement to operate the Liberty House shoe departments. Liberty House terminated the agreement in 1997.Nordstrom then opened two shoe stores at Ala Moana Center in November 1997, one for men and one for women and children.

Nordstrom says it is now looking for another location in Hawaii. The company also said it would continue to operate its shoe stores and would open its first Nordstrom Rack store in Hawaii at the Victoria Ward Center today.

Nordstrom effort to locate at the Ala Moana Center dates back to 1996, when it signed a letter with mall owner General Growth Management of Hawaii to build a 268,000-square-foot store. The space was originally slated to open in the fall of 1999.

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