The Cost-U-Less in Kapaa shut its doors Wednesday after 25 years.
Open since 1993, the grocery store ceased operation several days before its scheduled closure. Cost-U-Less, a division of The North West Company International, continues to operate 11 stores in U.S. territories, Hawaii, South Pacific, Caribbean and California.
“This store was no longer sustainable as a result of ongoing financial losses, which resulted in the difficult decision to close the store,” said Dan McConnell, president of The North West Company’s international retail division.
The grocer employed 21 people in its warehouse-style store that sold local and U.S.-branded goods like produce, meat, packaged foods and household products.
“We appreciate the hard work and dedication our employees have demonstrated over the years,” McConnell said.
Many customers said they shopped there because of the friendly service, affordable deals and availability of parking.
Cost-U-Less opened its first retail store on Maui in 1989. The company expanded to island locations, such as Guam and Hawaii Island, and opened its most recent store in Barbados in 2013.
Throughout the years, the grocer has dealt with common challenges of island market operations, refining a building prototype designed to endure severe weather and incorporating low construction costs.
John Steinhorst, reporter, can be reached at 245-0435 or email@example.com.