Kaimuki businesses tough it out - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kaimuki businesses tough it out

Lisa Nose Lisa Nose
Gordon Tom Gordon Tom

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

KAIMUKI (KHNL) - In East Oahu, there is a cluster of local businesses, that have been around for generations.

Waialae Avenue in Kaimuki is home to many mom and pop shops, some of which have been around for 50, even 60 years.

This year, the recession has left them struggling to survive.

"Every year at this time, all the orders keep coming but this year it's still quiet," said JJ Luangkhot, the owner of French Pastry.

Luangkhot says slashing prices would hurt them financially, so to keep customers coming, he accomodates those who are on tight budgets.

"We don't cut the price but we try to give them more," he said.

At one Kaimuki salon, business is down 30% to 40%. To attract more customers, the owner of Touch of Beauty, Lisa Nose, says she's having a special holiday sale. All services are half off.

"Everyday I'm scared actually. Economy is slow. If I make customers happy, I make myself happy. That's the way I can survive," said Nose.

One shoe repair shop could hold the secret to surviving tough times.

The owner, Gordon Tam, says his shop has been around for 70 years, and is still going strong.

"I'm here very late. Sometimes one or two in the morning. That's how busy I am. Lots of shoes," said Tam.

Tam says he doesn't advertise, and simply banks on the power of word of mouth.

And with many of the businesses on the strip having a lifeline that spans generations, word of mouth could be the key to toughing it out.

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