Opening the Import

LIHUE — Nick Chow is pumped.

Just ask him.

“I am excited,” said Chow, store manager for Pier 1 Imports, the big box store set to open in Lihue. “Who wouldn’t want to come in and see what is in store for them?”

Located in the Kukui Grove Center, the 8,000-square-foot retailer will celebrate its grand opening at 9:30 a.m. Friday, proceeded by a traditional Hawaiian blessing by Kahu Lady Ipo Kahaunaele Ferreira of Ke Akua Mana Church a half hour earlier. The store specializes in unique decorative home furnishings.

Chow isn’t the only one looking forward to the new mall tenant.

Marlena Bunao of Kauai Malasadas, located near the Kmart parking lot, watched the progress of the store over the course of months.

“This is very exciting,” Bunao said. “How often do we get to go to Honolulu? … I’m excited about going in to see what they have in there. If something catches my eye, then that’s the thing.”

Chow said the new store will have about 25 associates hired to support the opening. 

Sharon M. Leite, executive vice president of sales at Pier 1 Imports, said they are expanding the store’s reach in the state.

“We look forward to continuing to share our unique shopping experience with the residents and visitors of Hawaii,” Leite said.

Wade Lord, the Kukui Grove general manager, agreed.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Pier 1 Imports become part of the family of merchants here at Kukui Grove,” he said in a press release.

Other shoppers said it’s always a plus to have more options. Along with Pier 1, Sports Authority, Ross Dress for Less and Kalapaki Joe’s are also set to open soon in the mall.

“This is our speed,” said Bobbie Almeida of Koloa. “I’m excited about seeing what they have.”

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