LIHUE — Shoppers and officials say they are happy the Macy’s at Kukui Grove Center is staying.
Anna Leftaeriotis, who was shopping at Macy’s Thursday afternoon to find a birthday present for herself, said she was “very happy” when she learned Macy’s wouldn’t be closing its doors.
“It’s the only place to shop,” the Kauai resident said. “I’ve been shopping here since I moved here; it’s the only place to find anything.”
Some Kauai residents feared the store would be empty after Macy’s announced in September it planned to close between 35 and 40 stores nationwide. Wednesday, the company, citing slumping sales last year, released the locations of 36 stores marked for closure, a move estimated to save $400 million annually. The Kauai store was not on that list.
Wade Lord, general manager of Kukui Grove Center, was not surprised the local Macy’s made the cut.
“Macy’s here does very well; it’s an extremely strong performer,” he said.
Macy’s, known for selling designer clothes and the latest fashions, has over 100 employees at the Kauai location and is an anchor of the popular shopping mall.
Leftaeriotis, who moved to Kauai from Greece about three years ago, is happy those people will continue working.
“I was worried people were going to lose their jobs,” she said.
The people of Kauai also get to keep a staple in their community, said Mark Perriello, president of the Kauai Chamber of Commerce.
The store is popular because it provides island residents and tourists with unique products, he said.
Macy’s was the place Perriello went when he was ready to trade in his bow ties for aloha shirts.
“Macy’s sells specific items, that would not be found easily if the store closed,” he said. “It’s great news for Kauai that the Macy’s will remain open, and we’re grateful to the corporate office for recognizing the importance of this location.”
The store’s customer service also helps to make it successful, Lord added.
“The employees have done a good job at maintaining the store and staying aligned with the customers’ needs and wants,” he said.
One Macy’s location in Hawaii was among those listed to be closed: The Macy’s on Oahu in Kailua.
It’s not surprising that Macy’s will close, Lord said.
“There’s a Target and Whole Foods in the same center, and it (the Macy’s closure) is a wonderful re-development opportunity for the landlord,” he said. “With all the development that is going on there, they probably made the business decision not to invest in Macy’s and put their resources elsewhere.”
Macy’s is planning to open another store on Oahu in Kapolei at Ka Makana Ali’i, a shopping center expected to open later this year, according to the press release.
The 103,000 square-foot store is expected to open in the fall and hire 180 associates.