Jamba Juice shuts 1 of its Kona stores
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Jamba Juice Hawaii, citing the tight labor market, will close its Henry Street store in Kona next Tuesday.
The smoothie retailer will consolidate its operations with its other store half a mile away at Kona Coast Shopping Center, where all employees will be offered a job. It is only the second Jamba to close in Hawaii since the chain began operations here in 1999.
Jamba Juice Hawaii, a joint venture with the San Francisco-based Jamba Juice Co., has rolled out many new locations on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island over the years, with its most recent opening at Waianae Mall.
The closure brings the Jamba Juice store count to 37, although a new store expected to open at Ala Moana Center's Food Court in November will bring the total count back to 38 again.
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Jamba Juice Hawaii will close one of its stores in Kona next Tuesday, only the second time it has ever closed a location in the islands.
The smoothie retailer, a joint venture with the San Francisco-based Jamba Juice Co., has been rolling out more locations than reducing them since entering Hawaii in 1999.
The Kona store would be the second store to ever close in Jamba Juice's eight-year history in Hawaii. The first shop to close was at the Duty Free Shoppers in Waikiki in April 2002.
The closure of the Henry Street store, which opened in July 2005, was due mostly to the difficulty in staffing both Kona stores, which are within a half mile of each other.
All employees at the Henry Street store will be offered positions at the Jamba Juice store at Kona Coast Shopping Center.
"By closing the Henry Street store, we will be able to provide full staffing at our other Kona location and continue to provide excellent customer service," said Dean McPhail, CEO of JJC Hawaii LLC.
With the latest closure, Jamba's store count will be at 37. Jamba Juice recently opened a new store at Waianae Mall next door to Starbucks in mid-September, then its 38th, and its first in that Leeward Oahu region.
"It is doing very well," said Sherri Rigg, marketing director, "exceeding our projections."
A new Jamba Juice is expected to open at Ala Moana Center's Food Court by Thanksgiving, said Rigg, which will bring the total number back to 38.
"Everywhere on the Big Island, hiring has just been a challenge," said Rigg.
Jamba Juice entered the Hawaii market with its first store at Kailua Village Shops in July 1999, and has been on an expansion track since then, rolling out new stores on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. The company has about 800 employees at all of its locations in Hawaii.
The MacNaughton Group, through partnerships, originally owned and operated Jamba Juice and Starbucks in Hawaii, which were often paired next door to each other at shopping centers.
The Hawaii Starbucks operation has since been sold back to its corporate parent.