Kilgo's closes after 61 years
The landmark hardware store will auction its inventory Saturday
A landmark store near Sand Island is closing its doors for good.
Kilgo's, a hardware and industrial supply store, has shut its doors after 61 years in business and will auction its remaining inventory and assets on Saturday, a public relations firm for the store announced in a written news release yesterday.
"Kilgo's would like to thank its dedicated employees and loyal customers for their patronage throughout the years," said Kathleen Kaauwai, CEO of A.L. Kilgo Co. Inc., in the news release about the closure.
Store employees will receive severance pay and medical benefits, the news release said.
No signs about the closure were posted at the store's 180 Sand Island Access Road location last night, and calls to the store after 5 p.m. went unanswered.
"I'm going to miss it," said Rosa Hernandes, who works at El Charro Mexican Restaurant across the street. "I like Kilgo's, but I see there's a lot of open space."
She recalled first shopping at Kilgo's about 10 years ago and more recently buying mops and kitchen supplies there.
"It's been there forever," said Kapolei resident Robert Fong, who was at a shopping center on Sand Island Access Road. "If no one else had it, Kilgo's did."
Fong called it a sign of an end of an era, one of business loyalty and a "custom touch" for customers because owners knew who they were.
"They're a dinosaur," said Fong, a Coast Guard and federal government retiree. He recalled that you would never leave the store empty-handed because you would always find what you wanted.
Fong's wife, Carol, was surprised Kilgo's was still open because of the competition from "big box" hardware stores.
The couple likened Kilgo's to Arakawa's, a Waipahu institution that also closed.
Before it grew to employ more than 100 employees, Kilgo's was a military surplus store inside a Quonset hut.
A.L. Kilgo started his store in 1946 by selling military surplus items at a time when island residents were clamoring for construction materials because of a civilian shipping freeze during the war.
By the time he retired in 1992, Kilgo's warehouse business had grown to sell construction, hardware and gardening supplies on a 7-acre site with 135 employees.
Kilgo died at the age of 90 in November 2000.
The liquidation sales will begin at noon at Kilgo's on Saturday. For more information about the auction, call Marty McClain at 596-3900 or visit McClain Auctions online at www.mcclainauctions.com.