Isle retailers expanding
The Hawaii market is healthy and the outlook is positive, a local expert says
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While many businesses are shifting gears to adapt to a slowing economy, the retail outlook for Hawaii is still looking somewhat positive.
With 10 new retail centers under construction, and another 27 in the design and planning stages, Hawaii is poised to add an additional 7.25 million square feet of gross leasable retail space to its inventory over the next few years.
This should keep brokers busy, and provide additional opportunities for retailers in Hawaii.
Several long-established retailers in the state, as a matter of fact, are on an expansion track, including Price Busters, Longs Drugs and the Sullivan Family of Cos., which operates Foodland.
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Though the economy is in a downshift, retailers yesterday said they believe there is still more room for growth in Hawaii.
Opening The Seasonal Store
» Ward Centre, former Nordstrom Shoes (July 18)
» Windward Mall (Aug. 29)
» Laulani Village, Ewa Beach
Opening two new stores
» Upcountry Maui (this fall)
» Pearl City Gateway (2010 or later)
Sullivan Family of Cos.
Opening several projects including:
» Kapolei Village Center anchored by Foodland (2010)
» Lahaina Farms, Maui (opened yesterday)
"It's not all gloom and doom," said Wendell Brooks III, senior vice president of CB Richard Ellis
, who moderated a panel discussion yesterday at an International Council of Shopping Centers conference.
With the retail vacancy at about 3 percent, according to CBRE, Hawaii's retail market is still pretty healthy compared to many mainland markets.
The future retail real estate outlook is also looking positive, given that the state currently has 10 retail properties under construction - including Kapolei Commons, the open-air mall to be anchored by Target - offering an additional
2.15 million square feet of gross leasable space.
Another 27 retail properties are in the planning and design stages, according to CBRE statistics, potentially adding another 5.1 million square feet of gross leasable space.
In all, this would bring an additional 7.25 million square feet of gross leasable retail space online in the next few years - enough to keep brokers busy.
Several long-established retailers in Hawaii already are on an expansion track.
Price Busters, which currently has seven locations, is planning a new venture this summer.
The Seasonal Store, a new concept highlighting Halloween and Christmas items, will open in two new locations - at the former Nordstrom Shoes space at Ward Centre on July 18 as well as at Windward Mall on Aug. 29.
Beth Tom, president of Price Busters, said the Seasonal Store is a more defined concept. The stores will offer candy, costumes, decorations, and "everything that goes with the season."
Price Busters also plans to open another Price Busters at Laulani Village, a new shopping center in Ewa. While its Kailua store will be closing this Sunday, a new location is in the works in town, according to Tom.
Established in 1992, the store has established a loyal customer base in all seven of its locations, and it draws traffic, according to Tom.
She said Price Busters occupies its own niche, and that she does not see Longs Drugs, Wal-Mart or Costco as direct competitors. Nor does she consider Price Busters similar to Don Quijote, which replaced Daiei stores.
"It is a treasure hunt," she said, "and every store is different."
Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Longs Drugs is also planning two additional stores in Hawaii, with a store planned in Upcountry Maui as well as one at the new Pearl City Gateway development.
Both will measure over 20,000 square feet, typically larger than the mainland prototype due to storage needs in Hawaii.
The additional stores, when open, would bring the total number of Longs in the state to 39.
Though based on the mainland, Longs has been in Hawaii since 1954, beating newcomer Walgreens by 53 years.
Brian McAndrews, vice president of real estate for Longs Drugs, said the company caters to its local market, and the difference is clear when you walk into a store in Hawaii.
When asked whether or not Longs feels the competition from newcomer Walgreens in Hawaii yet, McAndrews pointed out that the Deerfield, Ill.-based company only has one store open here, so far.
The greater impact, right now, is from the general state of economy and rising costs of gas, he said.
Roger Wall, vice chairman of the Sullivan Family of Cos., which operates Foodland, Food Pantry, Sack N Save and other stores, said the company is constantly finding ways to improve its services and offerings.
The family-run company, which recently celebrated its 60th anniversary, has expanded in several ways, including bringing the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Beard Papa to Hawaii.
Wall says the Sullivan Cos. has found opportunities for smaller format markets, such as Lahaina Farms - which just opened yesterday morning in a 14,000-square-foot space at the Lahaina Gateway Center.
Lahaina Farms will feature natural, locally grown products, similar to Foodland Farms on the Big Island, which held a grand opening at the Shops at Mauna Lani earlier this year.
In addition, the company is developing Kapolei Village Center, offering more than 55,000 square feet of retail space to be anchored by Foodland. The projected opening date for the center is 2010.