A popular Hawaii retailer ditches the brick-and-mortar storefront — and more could follow

Experts say retailers giving up their brick-and-mortar shops is a real trend.
Published: Nov. 27, 2021 at 12:08 AM HST|Updated: Nov. 27, 2021 at 1:49 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The pandemic has changed the way we shop. And some of those shopping habits could stick around for good.

One thing that some retailers are already changing: They’re getting rid of brick-and-mortar storefronts.

Real estate broker Stephany Sofos say it’s all part of a real trend.

“The trend historically is going into online shopping because of the price points and the convenience,” Sofos said.

One popular Hawaii retailer is among those making the switch.

On Jan. 26, Eden in Love will no longer be at South Shore Market because they’re going online. Why the switch? Put simply, customers like Jace Amend, of Honolulu.

She said she’s as comfortable shopping online as in store.

“I’m half and half,” said Amend. “If I am looking for a particular item, I have no problem going online.”

She added, “It’s fast, it’s quick, it’s effective, but if I’m looking for just the experience or to explore or I don’t know what I’m looking for brick-and-mortar stores are more my style.”

And with online shopping, there’s no need to wear a mask or get into a crowd.

“So COVID has made it very uncomfortable to go shopping,” said Sofos.

During pandemic shutdowns, Eden in Love opened their Kakaako store when they could while also building their online market out of their warehouse.

Customers can now pick up items purchased online from the warehouse or have them shipped.

Eden in Love owner Tanna Dang says sales on Black Friday were brisk.

Sofos says that’s why many retailers are abandoning their storefronts — they can do just as well without the in-person expense.

“And the retailer will be able to bring them a better price point because of the volume of sales,” Sofos said. “Where it’s going to be a negative impact, for people who are not sophisticated enough to go shopping online.”

Sofos says to attract customers back to the stores, retailers should focus on improving customer service and offering a unique selection of products.

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