With big events changing course due to COVID-19, how are local lei shops pushing through?


HONOLULU (KHON2) – From weddings, parties and even funerals being cancelled, it’s taking a hit on local lei shops. But nothing is affecting them more than the change of traditional graduation ceremonies.

“That’s our revenue for the year I would say, because graduation goes from late April to June,” said Karen Lee, Manager of Cindy’s Lei Shoppe.

With the Coronavirus putting the world on pause, it’s also affecting the variety of lei Cindy’s Lei Shoppe has to offer.

“We lost also a lot of Thai product and a lot of our inventory is Thailand blooms and now they’re having a hard time, it’s been a real challenge for them to get the product here.”

After being in business for decades, Cindy’s Lei Shoppe is changing the way they operate to survive during these times.

“This is a three-generation family business and we’ve had to adjust. We’ve had to redirect because if you don’t you lose. We have to be really on top of our game in terms of like responding to phone calls, responding to emails, responding to web inquiries.”

While using technology to their advantage, they’re also adjusting to the new normal of celebrations.

“Now purchasing is becoming a little more situation specific. People are doing events in their living room, in their backyard, in their grandmother’s home and it’s only like a small group so that quantity purchase is different now.”

As things slowly start to reopen, Cindy’s Lei Shoppe hopes to welcome their customers back in the near future.

“We miss hugging the customers, we miss them telling us about happy times, sad times. We follow their families, our lei go with their events, you know we miss that. The thing about lei buying, people like to come down to Chinatown, they like to smell, touch, it’s a very visual experience and that’s not the way now. I hope in a month, or two or three we can open the store.”

To learn more about Cindy’s Lei Shoppe and how you can order from them, click here.

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