HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hundreds of excited "Maxxinista" shoppers poured into the brand new TJ Maxx store in Honolulu on Thursday, and shoppers said they were very pleased. Many spent hundreds of dollars during the grand opening at the new Ward Village Shops, perhaps even helping to set some new opening day sales records.
"I was surprised because they have alot more of the name brands that you don't see at any other store, said Camellia Young of Nuuanu who bought several designer handbags. "So, we got excited. We're going a little overboard."
"This is amazing," said TJ Maxx Executive, Holly Taylor about the flood of shoppers who came to attend the opening of the company's 1,001 TJ Maxx. "What a nice reaction. I walked by someone, who had like 7 handbags in her cart. People are just excited and so surprised to see the great designer labels, that we've been talking about for the past few days and weeks. We couldn't be happier."
TJ Maxx officials say Hawaii shoppers and visitors are hungry for designer products but without designer prices. The Ward store boasts its "Runway Department," only the 65th TJ Maxx in the country to have a dedicated collection of designer labels. You'll find designer labels throughout all TJ Maxx stores, but the "Runway" has more in one place.
"It's been a long time coming for TJ Maxx to come to Hawaii, so its kind of exciting," said Denise Haga of Niu Valley who said she came to feel the energy of the new store opening and is now going home with some items for herself and her family.
Heidi Ellyn of Aina Haina had a shopping cart full of what looked lilke hemp-bound glass candle holders, lamps and homegoods.
"It's so beachy," she said of her new finds. "It's gonna look great in my house. I'm so excited they opened this store. I've been waiting to get great stuff. And then I have to come back tomorrow, to try on all the clothes."
"When you see the price is 20 to 60 percent less, you've got to get it," said Taylor. "I mean, these are the most coveted designer named brands, and its an opportunity for people to own those exciting pieces."
Cameilia Young agrees. She and her Mom just came to look, but couldn't believe the prices and will be spending hundreds of dollars on their new finds today.
"Just looking at who's here," said Young about the crowds, "I think they're do really well."
Store executives promise store shelves will stay stocked by shipping in 10,000 new merchandise pieces every single week.
And yes, even the men were out today. Some came with their wives and girl friends, other on their own.
Emery Tawney of Honolulu has never been shopping at a TJ Maxx. So what does he think?
"Crowded," he replied. And smiled, "But everything is good. We're looking at shirts. I'm gonna get a couple of shirts right now.
One man was patiently waiting for his wife, and when she pointed to the long check out line that wrapped around the inside of the store, he patted her on her shoulder and with a smile said, "take it easy," in effort to reassure her that they'll survive opening day at TJ Maxx. The store not only caters to locals, but Hawaii visitors. Some racks are even labeled in Japanese.
Young agrees, it'll be a big hit with visitors.
"I told a few of my foreign friends, Japanese friends and Chinese friends. They're running over here and I'm sure they buy even more than I do."
"Hopefully this will bring some new energy back to Ward," said Ward Centers' General Manager, Bobbie Lau. "And we really want people to come back and see what we're all about.
Lau said TJ MAXX Is the first tenant at the new Ward Village Shops and talks are underway to bring in another national retailer to take up the space available downstairs.
Many shoppers were going home with deals and proud of the stash of goods piled high in their shopping carts, but it came for a price... A long wait in the check out line.
Two hours after opening the checkout line wrapped around inside of the entire store, then it went outside. One security official said he's never seen that before at an opening.
But most shoppers managed to endure it.
"It's really worth it, you know," said Ellyn. "It's fun and all my friends are here. So its kind of like a party and we're shopping. It doesn't get any better than that."
TJ Maxx is set to open its Pearl City Gateway location across from WalMart next Thursday, May 10, and its third store at Pearl Ridge Uptown, the following Thursday, May 17th.
And its very possible say market watchers, if all goes well, you might just see a TJ Maxx pop up on a neighbor island in the future.