One large retail store replaces another on King Street
One major retailer replaces another. The store space on King and Bethel street has been sitting empty for months. Since 1850, downtown residents could count on buying their goods at the location. It has gone from Liberty House, to Macy's, to soon Walmart. Some business owners nearby are not too happy about the new tenant.
"They kind of hurt businesses everywhere," said business owner Lan Chung.
"We have no more parking. That's why business is so slow," said business owner Sokhwa Miyashiro.
But Walmart said it's confident that there will be sufficient parking for customers. And it expects the store to be a positive influence to the neighborhood.
"This announcement is about revitalization of this empty retail space. It's also about continued economic development in the downtown business core," said Delia Garcia, a spokesperson for Walmart.
The new location will be Walmart's 10th store in Hawaii. The smallest one so far, still it'll be a two-level retail space spanning 80,000 square feet. Customers said they're looking forward to the large retailer's low prices.
"I think it is great. We need a new store to bring in some activity and it's convenient. I like Walmart," said customer Colleen Yee.
"I think it's the use of space and I think it'll be good for people in town," said customer Steven Suto.
And it will be good for those looking for work. The opening will bring in part-time and full-time jobs.
"We are looking to bring 150 jobs to the downtown area and we are always looking for strong talent that is customer service focused," said Garcia.
The Walmart spokesperson said they'll be looking at job applications a few months before they break ground. They expect the new store to open in 2014.
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