Categorized | Business, Featured

Pier 1 Imports opens in Kona

(Hawaii 24/7 photo special by Brad Ballesteros)

Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Editor

The new Pier 1 Imports store in Kona threw its doors open Friday morning and welcomed more than 1,000 shoppers in the first couple of hours.

Kahu Kealoha Kaopua Coleman of the Calvary Community Church conducted a traditional blessing and mayor’s executive assistance Bobby Command read a proclamation from Mayor Billy Kenoi.

After the maile lei was untied, shoppers got their first glimpse of Pier 1’s homewares and housewares. According to the company, first Big Island store offers “an eclectic mix of furniture, wares and goods that possess a decidedly magical, far-off land feel.”

The new shop employs 40 people, plus five managers, said store manager Jenna Criswell.

The total retail square footage of the store is 8,448 square feet.

Pier 1 Imports associate Melanie Akao carry pillows to stock shelves as workers prepare for the grand opening. (Hawaii 24/7 photo special by Brad Ballesteros)

It is the fifth Pier 1 Imports location in Hawaii. Pier 1 Imports has three stores on Oahu in Honolulu, Kailua and Pearl City, and one on Maui in Kahului. Pier 1 Imports opened its first Hawaii store at Ward Centers in Honolulu in 1998.

The store is located in the old Ross’ space at Kona Coast Shopping Center and has been eagerly anticipated by island shoppers.

“We’re so excited about opening the first Big Island location,” Hawaii regional manager Jeffrey Trinh said. “Every time I meet people in the community and tell them I’m from Pier 1, there’s this gasp, followed by sheer excitement and glee. It makes me feel like a rock star.”

Renovations to the store were completed earlier this month by Tinguely Development.

“We are thrilled to bring our first Pier 1 Imports store location to the Big Island of Hawaii and hope that our new Kona location will introduce customers to the eclectic and fun merchandise unique to Pier 1 Imports,” said Alex W. Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pier 1 Imports.

“Pier 1 Imports offers merchandise that fits all decorating styles, as well as a broad array of affordable holiday décor, furniture and gifts, and we look forward to sharing our unique shopping experience with the residents of Kona and the Big Island of Hawaii,” Smith said.

Untying the maile lei: Bobby Command, executive assistant to Mayor Billy Kenoi; Jenna Criswell, store manager; Jeffrey Trinh, Hawaii regional manager: Jennifer Engstrand, Pier 1 Imports Public Relations Specialist; and Jennifer Bradley, Vice President, Colliers. International (Photo courtesy of Pier 1 Imports)

The new store design is a natural evolution of the Pier 1 Imports experience that utilizes a new interior finish-out, including natural-colored floor tiles, rustic ceiling elements, enhanced store lighting and lit shelving units lining the walls, which help customers visualize the end-use of the products within their own home.

The exterior design features a signature bamboo door with rustic metal door handles that will mark the entrance to Pier 1 Imports’ unique shopping experience.

The features of the new store will allow easier navigation, all while maintaining the “treasure hunt” feel and continuing to make Pier 1 Imports a great place for discovery and spending time browsing.

The new look is complemented by “open stock” merchandising, designed to enhance the shopping environment by giving customers the opportunity to see, feel and interact with the product.

Customers are encouraged to embrace a mix-and-match methodology, especially with the dinnerware, textiles and pillows, as well as draw inspiration from the idea-generating store displays, Criswell said.

Customers also may peruse a furniture resource book and special order items to be delivered in 30 days at the store for pick up at no additional charge.

(Photo courtesy of Pier 1 Imports)

Company buyers troll flea markets, antique stores and bazaars around the globe, regularly importing goods from more than 50 countries.

Pier 1 originated in 1962 as a single store in San Mateo, Calif., where post-World War II baby boomers could find beanbag chairs, love beads and incense.

Since 1985, Pier 1 Imports has contributed more than $37 million to philanthropic organizations through international, national and local efforts including UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Fund) and the United Way.

The store is open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays. Call 329-2581.

— Find out more:

Store manager Jenna Criswell and Hawaii Regional Manager Jeffrey Trinh (Hawaii 24/7 photo special by Brad Ballesteros)

(Hawaii 24/7 photo special by Brad Ballesteros)

(Hawaii 24/7 photo special by Brad Ballesteros)

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