Hawaii retailers feel the urge to donate this year’s vacation
HONOLULU (KHON2) – Many local businesses say they feel more than just the holiday spirit. With foot traffic and sales picking up, they expect to do better than last year’s vacation.
Whether in person or online, the spirit of generosity is felt at local retailers.
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Eden in Love owner Tanna Dang said she started ordering inventory months in advance to have enough merchandise as the pandemic has affected supply chains and the way people shop.
“We were actually a little nervous about this year because we weren’t sure if we were going to have that many people shopping online now that you could go back to the store,” Dang said. “But honestly this year we’re tracking as well as last year, and I think after today or maybe tomorrow our numbers – we’re just going to reverse last year’s numbers.”
After 15 years of operating as a physical store, Eden in Love will be operating fully online early next year – Dang said business was better than ever.
“We knew through the pandemic, once we pivoted online, and performed so well online, we didn’t know there was a world out there that had Eden in Love on it. World Wide Web, ”Dang said.
With the easing of COVID restrictions, Retail Merchants of Hawaii President Tina Yamaki said small businesses were on the verge of surpassing last year’s holiday sales.
“We are seeing an increase in foot traffic in stores. In the malls, people are actually buying, ”Yamaki said. “We saw a lot of people start their holiday shopping earlier this year as well.”
Some of Hawaii’s local favorites, like Matsumoto Shave Ice, also feel the love. General manager Remy Matsumoto said their online retail business sells t-shirts and other items in some of the coldest places on the continent.
“I am always surprised to see someone buy in a state other than Hawaii. I’m just like, how do they know about us? You know, because it can go all the way up like the east coast, ”Matsumoto said. “And that always surprises me. And I’m really thankful for, you know, every customer that supports us from all over the United States.
Even companies like Hoala Salon and Spa are benefiting from the vacation bump.
“We will see, usually Christmas week, that the spa gets very busy,” said Letitia Thomas, owner of Hoala Salon and Spa. “And then the next week it’s flooded, and we are able to take care of everyone through their hard work of shopping and taking care of each other.”
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Retailers recommend that gifts be shipped as early as possible so that they arrive on time.