Honolulu (courtesy of Watchdog.org)
Honolulu (courtesy of Watchdog.org)
Honolulu (courtesy of Watchdog.org)

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Society of Business Professionals (HSBP) will explore the import of Mainland retail chains to Hawaii and the export of local companies to the Mainland at its January 15 program “The Import & Export of Retail — Hawaii Style” at the Hawaii Prince Hotel. The panel features experts in shopping and dining, as well as a commercial real estate professional familiar with the process of bringing Mainland retail brands to Hawaii. The public is invited.

When Costco opened its first store in Hawaii in 1988, it became one of a few Mainland retail chains with Hawaii operations (Longs Drugs doesn’t count as many of us see it as a local Hawaii store). Kmart followed a few years later and the import of Mainland retailers was on. Many of these Hawaii stores now rank among the top tier in revenue of their chain’s U.S. operations.

“We all know there are barriers to having a successful business in Hawaii, especially for companies without knowledge of the local market,” said Harvey Rackmil, president of HSBP, a nonprofit whose members represent a variety of Hawaii businesses. “Many of us want to know what goes into the decision of a Mainland retail operation to open a Hawaii location and on the flip side, the decisions Hawaii companies make to export their business to the Mainland and how they navigated a different market and found success across the ocean.”

The featured panelists will discuss the challenges and differences in operating in Hawaii and on the Mainland and include:

·       Brian Tatsumura, store manager of Nordstrom Hawaii. Tatsumura will discuss the challenges and opportunities of operating the Seattle-based department store in Hawaii as well as Nordstrom’s future store plans. After 42 years of selling shoes in Hawaii through Liberty House and later Macy’s, Nordstrom opened its first full-line Hawaii store in 2008.

·       Dylan Ching, senior general manager of Duke’s Waikiki. Ching is responsible for overseeing restaurant operations for Duke’s Waikiki as well as its 280-plus employees. Duke’s is part of TS Restaurants, which includes five properties in California and eight properties in Hawaii. Ching will discuss the challenges and opportunities of taking a successful Hawaii operation and “exporting” it to the Mainland.

·       Roger B. Lyons, senior vice president in the Retail Advisory Services Division at CBRE. Lyons has been involved in commercial real estate for 25 years, including exclusive engagements in retail tenant and landlord representation throughout the state and on the Mainland. Lyon represents numerous national retailers in the market, including Target, Walgreens, Petco and Sports Authority.

The panel discussion will be held at the Hawaii Prince Hotel (Mauna Kea Ballroom). Check-in begins at 11:30 a.m. with the program starting at noon. Cost is $38 for HSBP members and partners (Hawaii Association of Realtors, Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association and Retail Merchants of Hawaii) and $45 for guests; registration after January 12 is an additional $10. Register for the event at www.hsbp.biz.

The Hawaii Society of Business Professionals is a nonprofit organization with about 140 members representing a wide spectrum of Hawaii businesses. Founded in 1974, HSBP’s mission is to provide members networking opportunities and a forum for exposure to a broad range of current management and planning issues. Learn more at hsbp.biz. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @hsbp_808.

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