Tag Archives: ABC Stores


imageHonolulu, Hawaii (The Adobo Chronicles) – For cities in the U.S. mainland, there is a Starbucks coffee shop in every street corner. In Waikiki, there is an ABC Store not just  in every street corner but two or three within the same block. These 7-Eleven type retail shops are among the most recognizable tourist traps in Waikiki.

That is about to change. Beginning on January 1, 2015, all ABC Stores marquee signs are coming down and will be replaced with “XYZ Stores,” thanks to the brilliant marketing strategy of the developers of the upcoming and upscale International Market Place on Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki.

The developers are responsible for the demise of the old and historical International Market Place, nestled in the middle of Waikiki that featured cottage-type stalls under banyan trees, selling wares from Aloha shirts and kukui nut leis to fresh-cultured pearls and ukeleles. The demolished site is now being reconstructed and  a new, multi-level shopping complex will rise featuring high-end retail establishments like Saks Fifth Avenue.

The old and demolished International Market Place
The old and demolished International Market Place

As part of the overall marketing strategy for the new complex, the developers have proposed to change the name of all ABC Stores to XYZ Stores in order to attract more shoppers belonging to the X & Y (Millennial) generations. “The baby boomers are getting older and the future of retail shopping is now in the hands of the younger generation,” the developers said.

Soon to rise: New and ultra modern International Market Place
Soon to rise: New and ultra modern International Market Place

Only the store signage will change. XYZ Stores will still sell souvenirs, t-shirts, chocolates, coffee, sunscreens, flipflops, beachwear as well as food & beverage.

The cost of replacing the store signage from ABC to XYZ will be borne by the International Market Place developers. A true investment for the future.





imageHonolulu, Hawaii – Waikiki residents and frequent visitors alike were taken by surprise at the announcement that the International Market Place has permanently closed as of January 1, 2014.  It is considered the last hold-out among open-air, under-the- banyan-tree places that defined this top-rated tourist destination in Hawaii. It featured small businesses in wooden stalls selling wares from t-shirts, to pearl jewelry to ukuleles. It was a “people’s park” in a sense, where ordinary people shop for inexpensive souvenirs and partake of diverse fast-food menus at its food court. In its place, Saks Fifth Avenue will build a new several storey department store.

imageWell, it appears this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Starbucks has just announced that it is purchasing all of the ABC stores in Waikiki – that means two or three in every block or corner of Waikiki’s major thoroughfares like Kuhio and Kalakaua Avenues. Effective February 1, 2014, all ABC Stores will become Starbucks Coffee Shops.  Starbucks has , however, assured everyone that it will add Kona coffee to its regular menu to keep the Aloha spirit in their business. It will also offer spam sushi as part of its breakfast menu, as well as macadamia nuts for its snacks. In place of its iced coffees, Starbucks will offer shaved ice coffees.