LIHUE — When Pier 1 Imports Executive Vice President Sharon M. Leite was on Kauai last, she remembers peering through the windows of the closed store at the Kukui Grove Center.
This led to the opening of the first Pier 1 Imports store on Kauai Friday morning, when an estimated crowd of more than 300 people lined the driveway leading up to the Kmart parking lot.
“When the former store which occupied this space closed, we knew we had a good lot,” said Wade Lord, general manager of Kukui Grove. “Pier 1 Imports was the top choice of a focus group we hosted to find out what the community wanted.”
The opening of the Pier I Imports on Kauai is the first of two additions to the chain based in Texas, bringing the total number to seven.
“We are honored to continue our commitment to our Hawaii customers with the openings of our first store on Kauai, and an additional store on Oahu in Kapolei next week,” said Leite. “At Pier 1 Imports, we are pleased to offer an eclectic and fun array of affordable home decor, furniture and gifts, and we look forward to continuing to share our unique shopping experience with the residents and visitors of Hawaii.”
As part of the blessing and grand opening, Novelynn Hinazumi of Child and Family Services accepted a contribution of $2,500 made by Jeffrey Trinh, the Pier 1 Imports Hawaii Regional manager.
“Pier I Imports is dedicated to supporting the communities in which its associates live and work,” Trinh said. “It has supported the local community in Hawaii by giving back through donations and community service.”
The contribution to CFS was done because the Hawaii nonprofit organization is dedicated to strengthening families and fostering the healthy development of children.
Met with thunderous applause from the anxious shoppers, Lady Ipo Kahaunaele Ferreira of Ke Akua Mana Church was more deliberate with her blessing, expunging any bad feelings from the previous occupant as well as any unpleasantries which may have taken place during the construction.
“This is our new baby,” Ferreira said. “It’s ready to be embraced by all.”