HONOLULU (KHON2) — Bed, Bath and Beyond and Pier 1 are the latest casualties in a long line of retailers going under due to the increase in online shopping. The departure of the two chain stores in Ward Village will leave large vacant spaces.
Both will close shop in early 2020.
Pier 1 took up 12,795 square feet while Bed, Bath and Beyond occupied two stories and covered 30,226 square feet.
Todd Apo, the vice president of community development at Ward Village, said he’s seen the changes in the market regarding big box stores.
“Like anywhere else we see the changes of big box and and what that means. I think what is exciting for Ward village is we’ve seen those types of changes and within the master plan we’ve been able to adjust into new retail,” Apo said.
At this point, Apo said they’re unsure exactly what will happen with the spaces once the stores are gone, but there is a clear trend in the market to cut-up larger retail spaces to make space for smaller vendors.
“You’re always going to go with the market and we’re seeing the success of South Shore Market in Ward Center. We see the success of the small businesses and what they can do and that’s today’s trend…As we all know, big box was a trend at one point so we continue to watch the market and we continue to make those adjustments.”
“For example, you take the Sports Authority space. It was a big box that corporately moved out. We were able to use that as an art exhibit in 2017 before this new space came in.”
Ohana Hale Marketplace opened its doors September 1, 2018 in the space previously occupied by Sports Authority on Ward. It can fit up to 250 retailers.
Jun Tadiarca of Jun’s Awesome Hot Sauce has been there for six months. He said it’s given him and other small business owners an opportunity they might not have had otherwise.
“Ohana Hale is, I believe, a good place to start out with very small capital,” Tadiarca said.
He described the space as a new International Market Place and said the vendors there support one another like a family.
“I think it’s great. I think the entrepreneurial spirit is really turning out these days. Because of the changing market, a lot of people are actually pursuing their dream just like myself.”
Apo said the final day of business for Bed, Bath & Beyond and Pier 1 is still being decided.
Pier 1 will close all seven of its Hawaii locations along with 70 locations around the country.
So far, Bed, Bath and Beyond has only announced the closure of the Ward Village location in Hawaii. However, the chain will close 60 stores in the U.S.