KB Toys to close 3 Hawaii stores
KB Toys, the mall-based retail toy-store chain based in Pittsfield, Mass., is closing three of seven stores in Hawaii.
The stores at Kamehameha Shopping Center in Kalihi, Pearlridge Center in Aiea, and at Ala Moana Center are all holding closeout sales and will be closed at different times after the holidays.
A KB Toys spokeswoman did not return calls for comment from Massachusetts headquarters by press time.
Like CompUSA, KB Toys plans to hand selected shops to retail liquidator Gordon Brothers Group to shut them down in January, according to a recent story in the Washington Post that cited internal company documents. KB Toys is targeting 156 U.S. stores.
KB Toys is a privately held company which operates nearly 600 stores across the United States and Puerto Rico. It operates KB Toys as well as KB Toy Outlet, KB Toy Works and KB Toy Express during the holidays.
It was founded in 1922 by the Kaufman brothers as a confectionery business that grew into the KB Family of Stores.
The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early 2004, according to Hoover's, resulting in about 570 store closures and 4,000 layoffs. That year, KB Toys also sold its KBToys.com Internet business to an affiliate, D.E. Shaw, which renamed the company eToys Direct.
Top competitors listed by Hoover's for KB Toys include Target, Toys "R" Us and Wal-Mart, the latter two of which already exist in Hawaii. Target is expected to enter the Hawaii market in 2009.
The three stores in Hawaii are not participating in advertised promotions. Instead, those stores are holding closeout sales.
All items in the closing stores are 30 percent off, with 50 percent off on select items.
David Wunch, property manager of Kamehameha Shopping Center, said the 3,585-square-foot space would be available after KB Toys departs, though he said the closing date was still undetermined.
KB Toys has had a longtime presence in Hawaii -- it has been a tenant at Pearlridge Center since 1985 and at Kamehameha Shopping Center since 1986.
A number of other mainland KB Toys, including one in Las Vegas, 11 in California, and six in Puerto Rico, were also listed as not participating in advertised promotions on the corporate Web site.
KB Toys stores closing
Pearlridge Center, Aiea, When: Dec. 31, 2007
Ala Moana Center, Honolulu, When: last week of January
Kamehameha Shopping Center, Kalihi, When: Undetermined
Stores remaining open
Kahala Mall, Kahala
Windward Mall, Kaneohe
Prince Kuhio Plaza, Hilo, Big Island
Queen Kaahumanu Center, Kahului, Maui