LOS ANGELES -- Nordstrom Inc. will close its Oakridge Mall store in San Jose, Calif., next March and has agreed to sell the building to Sears Merchandising Group.

Jim Nordstrom, a vice president and general manager for northern California, said Monday sales did not justify the costs of keeping the store open.

Nordstrom explained the closing is part of the 77-unit chain's "ongoing evaluation" of store performance. Sources said the 152,000-square-foot, two-level San Jose store accounted for less than $30 million in annual volume.

Nordstrom, which will shutter the store on March 31, made the announcement early so that the branch's 270 employees could consider other options. The store will try to place most employees in other stores and will offer severance packages to those who choose to leave.

Nordstrom operates 10 regular Nordstrom stores and two Nordstrom Rack discount branches in northern California.

Nordstrom said he hopes Oakridge customers will transfer to the Nordstrom store in Valley Fair, 10 miles northwest of the San Jose branch.

He described the Valley Fair unit as a "blockbuster" and said the Oakridge closing was not indicative of overall business in the state, which he described as strong.

"We're very pleased with California, especially since last September, when business picked up," Nordstrom said. "It's been an interesting last couple of years, but we feel California is coming back."

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