LIHUE — Employees at the Time Supermarket at Kukui Grove wore smiles as bright as the day was warm Wednesday.
QSI, Inc., a Hawaii-based company and operator of Times Supermarkets, announced its agreement to sell its Hawaii supermarket operation to the Don Quijote Group on Tuesday.
“This is a huge step for our business and will be good for our customers,” said John Quinn, president and CEO of QSI. “Today, we are combining two established kama‘aina companies to create a powerful new brand in the local grocery industry.”
Don Quijote’s immediate plan is to continue to operate all of the acquired retail locations and retain all of the 1,600 associates employed by QSI.
Don Quijote operates three Don Quijote stores and two Marukai stores on Oahu, providing groceries and other products and services to Hawaii residents since 2006.
Don Quijote has 354 discount retail and convenience stores internationally, including locations in Hawaii with approximately 950 employees in Hawaii.. The sale by QSI will include all 17 Times Supermarket stores, five Big Save Markets, Shima’s Supermarket and Fujioka’s Wine Times.
“Hawaii is a very special place for our company and myself,” said Koji Ohana, president and CEO of Don Quijote Holdings Co., Ltd., based in Tokyo, Japan. “We look forward to expanding our presence on Oahu, Maui and Kauai and will remain dedicated to providing outstanding goods and services for our loyal customers.”
The sale is expected to close in the late third quarter of this year. Daily store operations are not expected to be impacted.
“The opportunity to welcome the Times Supermarket family of stores, and their employees to our ‘ohana is exciting for us,” said Edwin Sawai, president of Don Quijote (USA) Co., Ltd., and Marukai Hawaii Co., Ltd. “We are confident that we will successfully work together, share ideas and learn from each other’s combined experiences to best serve Hawaii. For more than 68 years, Times Supermarket has been a local favorite and pillar of Hawaii’s retail community. We look forward to continuing their history and success in the Islands.”
Times Supermarket opened its door in 1949 and was acquired by QSI in 2002 which continued to operate all 12 store locations on Oahu.
In 2004, QSI acquired Fujioka’s Wine Merchants, operating now as Fujioka’s Wine Times, and in 2009, QSI acquired Star Markets to add five more locations to the Time Supermarket banner. In 2011, QSI acquired five Big Save Markets on Kauai and continues to operate these stores under the Big Save name.