New stores add to shopper's paradise in Waikiki

Chase Yamanoha & Alessandra Ambrosio
Chase Yamanoha & Alessandra Ambrosio
Stephany Sofos
Stephany Sofos

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - With tourism spending on the rise lately many Waikiki businesses are being re-energized. Now some big-name retailers are adding to the momentum just in time for the holiday season.

The line outside the new Victoria's Secret store stretched along Kalakaua Avenue and around the corner. Victoria's Secret "angel" Alessandra Ambrosio posed for pictures with fans in front of a surfboard for the grand opening. The unveiling drew tourists and locals alike.

"We don't get them in Austria because there is no shop and so we came here and bought a lot of things," said Sabrina Lassacher, a visitor from Austria.

"It's a model. Victoria's Secret. We're guys so we wanted to come check it out," said Chase Yamanoha of Nuuanu.

This is the second store in Hawaii for Victoria's Secret. The two-story shop is in the Waikiki Shopping Plaza. Around the corner on Seaside Avenue, Ross Dress for Less is also attracting lots of customers. The retail chain began welcoming shoppers last week.

The October openings come just ahead of the lucrative holiday shopping season.

"You want to get your staff trained. You want to get everything coordinated, and you want to get things going so that when Christmas comes, everybody's moving, boom, boom, boom so that you can make as much as you can," explained retail analyst Stephany Sofos.

Forever 21 opened for business in the Royal Hawaiian Center right after Christmas last year. These new stores offering affordable items are mixed in with luxury retailers.

"When you have these new stores coming in, you're actually balancing it up for everybody," said Sofos. "It's brought it down to people's level and that's a good thing. Quality always sells."

Visitors are taking home more than just Hawaii-themed souvenirs, and the hope is that retail therapy will keep customers coming back.

"There's a resurgence, a re-energizing of Waikiki," said Sofos. "So you're gonna see some locals going into Waikiki because there's a curiosity."

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