Your Opinion, Please

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Your Opinion, Please


Sociologists tell us that the reason we are never quite satisfied is in our hunting and gathering DNA. If our ancestors had been satisfied after finding those first berries, they would not have kept looking for more, and would have starved to death.

So here in Paradise, the something more that many of us wish for is 1) A Target store (it’s in talks) 2) a Trader Joe’s (will never happen) and 3) lower prices (ain’t never gonna happen.) Or is it?

There is something all over the Maui news sources now that I wanted to get your opinion on. A developer from the Mainland is trying to build a huge Outlet Mall in Kihei. Many locals don’t want it, they say it will just cause traffic and congestion.  One of our biggest concerns here on Maui is that we don’t want to become Oahu. If we wanted to live on Oahu, we’d move there. The developers maintain that it will be good for the economy here and create jobs.

The people on both sides of the argument seem to be missing the bigger picture:

1) how are they going to keep prices low, at Outlet Store prices, when they have paid to ship this merchandise across the ocean? and

2) Who is really going to shop there?

Your opinion please: Would you spend your time shopping at an Outlet Mall on Maui?

What do you mainly come to Maui to do? Relax? Swim/go to the beach? Boating/Diving/Water activities? Hiking? Driving around to see the scenery?

Shopping on Maui? And if so, what do you buy? Souveniers? Clothing?

My experience with Outlet Malls is limited, though I do know people who are addicted to them and basically plan their trips to the East coast around them. It seems these malls are always full of merchandise that didn’t sell well otherwise. And here’s something I’ve always wondered about chain stores in Maui in general: how do they move the Winter merchandise? If you walk into the Gap or Banana Republic in the Shops at Wailea and see boots and hats in there, are you moved to buy them and take them home? Because I know the Mauians aren’t buying them. Unless of course someone is making a trip to cold country, but my experience has been that when I really needed something like that, it wasn’t in the stores right then anyway.

So let’s say the Outlet Mall goes in. Who is really going to buy those winter goods and haul them home, when they can get them back in Milwaukee just fine? Also, and this is the biggee for me–airlines now charge good money for bags that used to be free.

So are you really going to come to Maui and fill up a suitcase at an Outlet Mall and pay to haul the stuff home? Are you going to spend your time on Maui shopping at an Outlet Mall, or will you think “I could do this back home”? I will tally the responses I get and submit them as a Letter to the Editor of both The Maui News and The Maui Weekly Your opinion, please…

And if you are local, are you in favor of the Outlet Mall?

A hui hou (til next time). If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the Follow button on the Home Page.

Aloha, Jamaica

3 thoughts on “Your Opinion, Please

  1. Jamaica,
    I love your blog and look forward to it every day! We are currently building a home in Kihei and will spend at least 6-8 mo. a year in your beautiful paradise.
    NO~ I will not shop in an outlet mall there. Why would I buy there to bring back to the mainland?

  2. Well it truly depends on the type of stores. If it is something I can find in the Walmart there…doesn’t matter if there is an Outlet Mall. But….there was not much I could afford at the Lahaina or Wailea Malls (not sure of exact names)….so …yes, if it was a good buy & could be loaded into the suitcase I would absolutely shop at the Outlet Mall. Also, it would create jobs! oxoxo your sister

  3. Aloha! I *might* have shopped in an outlet mall, but more likely I would not have, as I wanted nothing to do with mainland goods while I was in Maui. My main shopping was at the airport, Costco and at Kmart, and even there I was determined not to buy Hawaii souvenirs made in China. I’m not one of these people who refuses goods made in other lands, but for Hawaiian souvenirs, I just really wanted something made there by Hawaiians. Outlet stores might be a successful venture for Maui, I don’t know. But more than them, I’d love to see the big stores offer more Maui merchants a place to sell their goods. I’d rather pay $5 for a tiny piece of Maui-whittled wood than $3 for a Made-in-China trinket that says Hawaii. Would love to see Maui artisans sell more small easily sellable goods to the big stores. Maybe even an entire Maui artists section at Costco! It would be a great boon to the local economy!

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