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Forget the TVs. Maui shoppers go for ‘buy local’ deals on Black Friday

Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 4:59 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 26, 2021 at 9:46 PM HST
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KAHULUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - It wasn’t your typical Black Friday on Maui.

There were no long lines at big box stores like Walmart, Target or Costco.

“I was expecting it to be crazy! Everyone buying TVs or whatever. But yeah, nothing. There’s not a lot of people around. Surprising,” said shopper Kurt Muroki.

Instead, the excitement centered on smaller retailers.

There was a long line outside Hi-Tech Surf Sports in Kahului, and a line snaked around One Eighty Maui at Queen Kaahumanu Center.

“We’re actually gonna go walking, exercising. But we ended up coming here and doing our exercises here. Exercising at the mall. Standing for over an hour in line,” said shopper Tami Saito.

Between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, the National Retail Federation expects 2 million more shoppers this year compared to last year. It also predicts historic holiday sales.

However, a larger portion of those sales are happening online.

For Carol Cairme and her daughter Karly, Black Friday shopping is a tradition.

“It’s not so much of the shopping but being in the thick of it. It’s just fun,” said Carol Cairme. “I don’t know where else we’re going but we’re gonna try and hit as much stores as we can,” Karly added.

Daython Galicinao, owner of FAM, opened his first storefront at Queen Kaahumanu Center last month. His store is benefiting from the “buy local” spirit.

“It’s been good. It’s our first experience with Black Friday and it’s overwhelming with fun and we love it. It’s been busy,” Galicinao said.

Queen Kaahumanu Center has struggled with big store shutdowns recently. Mall officials have said they believe attracting more locally owned stores is part of their plan to thrive.

“I think that’s the way it should be. I mean, it’s so much better for local businesses,” Muroki said.

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