Friday, February 21, 2003

Chock’s store
will tune out
after 73 years

The TV and appliance retailer
will close its doors
at the end of March

By Russ Lynch

Chock's TV and Appliance Ltd., which has sold radios and appliances to Hawaii residents since before the word "electronic" came into use and decades before every family had a television set, will close at the end of March.

The deaths last year of a father and son, who had been running the business, spelled the end of the business at 1308 Young St. in Moiliili, said Sue Ann Lee, the last surviving member of the owner families.

Realtor Lee said that the deaths of her brother, Randy Lee, in November and her father, William Lee, in December left her in charge, but she has her own interests as a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties.

"I'm passionate about what I do (in real estate). It's a great market, a great time to be in the market," she said.

However, Lee said both her real estate activity and Chock's were hurt by having to take care of both.

"I have not been able to concentrate on my business fully and I have not been able to concentrate on Chock's fully," she said.

The sad conclusion, she said, was to close the business that started in 1930 as Chock's Radio Shop. The store, which has always had competitive prices, just can't compete against "big box" retailers such as Wal-Mart and the family situation just brought it to an end, Lee said.

She had been an officer of the company but left in the mid-1990s and is only back by default, she said.

About a dozen employees will lose their jobs when the store closes. Meanwhile, everything is marked at discount prices, Lee said.

Her father, William, had married into the Chock family and became a partner with his wife in 1946. "Pretty much, Dad ran the company," Lee said.

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