Auto parts giant comes to Kauai

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    The AutoZone shop, the fifth store in Hawaii, opened its doors Wednesday at Waipouli Town Center.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Igor Jelcic, AutoZone district manager, from left, Keoki Sandal, Kayden Palenapa and John Creamer, AutoZone store manager, invite people to visit the new store in the Waipouli Town Center that opened Wednesday.

KAPAA — AutoZone opened its first store on the Garden Isle on Wednesday.

The auto parts retail giant moved into Waipouli Town Center in Kapaa, alongside other well-known companies including Foodland, McDonald’s and Sherwin Williams.

The new store, along Kuhio Highway in the 8,000-square-foot former Blockbuster Video space, will sell an assortment of automotive parts from oil filters to windshield wipers.

“I’m interested in knowing just what they’re going to be doing as far as working with our community,” said Kapaa resident Toby Michalek. “I myself think it’s exciting and it’s a much-needed resource for Kapaa and the island.”

The average AutoZone store employs eight to 10 people, a mixture of full- and part-time employees, according to manager of communications and media relations for the company, Tracy Houston.

The Tennessee-based company has four other stores in Hawaii, including a recently opened store in Waipahu in Central Oahu, in addition to stores is Ewa Beach and Honolulu, and in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island.

“Our store development team works diligently to identify locations that are convenient to our customers and allow us to serve them better,” said Houston.

AutoZone has more than 6,000 stores in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Brazil, employing more than 87,000 people companywide, according to Houston.

Chris Yaris, senior associate for Honolulu-based Beall Corp., handles leasing for the 55,740-square-foot Waipouli Town Center.

“The space had been sitting vacant for awhile,” said Yaris. “With not many big-box retailers looking to enter the market, we’re lucky that we found AutoZone, and we think it will fit a need in the area.”

The store was originally planned to open in April 2017, but the start was delayed by nearly 10 months.

“As you know with permits and construction schedules, it always typically gets pushed back,” said Yaris. “I think we’re just happy it’s finally opened.”

AutoZone is one of the leading retailers and distributors of automotive replacement parts and accessories in the U.S. Each AutoZone store carries an extensive product line for cars, sport utility vehicles, vans and light trucks, including new and re-manufactured automotive hard parts, maintenance items, accessories and non-automotive products.

  1. John clayton February 5, 2018 9:14 am Reply

    Competition is good. NAPA has just about dominated the auto parts market here on Kauai for many years. Taba Bros sold out to them. NAPA bought the warehouse that CarQuest used to use, putting them out of business on Kauai. There is O’Rilyes one store in Lihue which is not convenient and seems to have to order almost everything. NAPA has been great. If the Zone is serious about being successful, just one store isn’t going to do it.

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