Ban takes spark out of firecracker sales - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Ban takes spark out of firecracker sales

Mischelle Almuena Mischelle Almuena
Thu Perry Thu Perry
Dana Kawaguchi Dana Kawaguchi
John-David Nako John-David Nako

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewNow) - The Costco store in Iwilei brought in just enough firecracker novelty products to fit on a few pallets. Store management said It's about 95 percent less than what the store used to stock.

Costco limited orders because it knew demand would be down.

It seems enthusiasm is down too.

"No. We're not going to spend any money this year," shopper Mischelle Almuena said. "It's not going to be the same as the previous years. We had really good stuff before."

Oahu's new fireworks law outlaws anything but firecrackers and certain novelty poppers, what dealer TNT Fireworks calls "safe and sane" items. Even sparklers are banned.

"I do have a kid. He loves it. So he's going to be bummed," Nuuanu resident Thu Perry said.

At Kmart Iwilei, positioning the display at the store's entrance hasn't sparked business the way it did when fireworks filled several rows of shelves.

"This is maybe a fifth of what we normally carry," sales manager Dana Kawaguchi said. "Then, you'd have actual fireworks and the stuff you buy for the kids. Now this is all we have."

It's a big change from last year when fireworks accounted for one-fourth a day's sales at Kmart. Kawaguchi said this year it may only be one to two percent.

"For me and my family, we used to pop quite a lot of fireworks. This year I don't think we're going to pop any," John-David Nako said.

The city said consumer firecracker permits and retail licenses to sell the items are both down as Oahu celebrates its first New Year's under the new law.

"The ban is actually, to us health wise, a good thing. Noise wise, it's a good thing," shopper Norma Kimokeo said. "Save money. Use your money elsewhere."

Judging by demand and supply, that's what a lot of people are doing.

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