DFS Hawaii lays off 165 amid decline in tourism from Asia

Published: Sep. 26, 2019 at 2:55 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Retailer DFS Hawaii laid off 165 employees Thursday from three of its Hawaii locations, citing losses due to a softening international travel market.

The employees worked at the T Galeria in Waikiki, at Honolulu’s airport and Kona International Airport.

“We thank all of these employees for their service to DFS and regret having to take this action, which became necessary because of the losses DFS is incurring due to market forces outside of its control,” said Tim DeLessio, president of Global Store Operations at DFS Group, in a statement.

"International travel to Hawaii from Asia has been in a downward trend for many months and there is no foreseeable indication this will be reversed in the near term."

[Read more: Trade war, escalating tensions lead to big drop in Chinese visitors to Hawaii]

Before the layoffs, DFS Hawaii had 660 employees in the islands.

The news comes as economists continue to set off alarm bells about Hawaii’s slowing economy.

The latest tourism figures, released Thursday, showed another dip in international arrivals even as overall arrivals to the islands were up. Declines in the number of tourists from Japan and elsewhere in Asia ― including China ― were made up by mainland arrivals.

DFS caters largely to international travelers, who can snap up items at duty free prices.

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