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BREAKING: Savers in Kahului Closing on March 13

Posted March 4, 2017, 02:43 PM HST Updated March 7, 2017, 02:22 PM HST
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The Savers thrift store in Kahului is closing its doors on March 13, 2017, Maui Now has confirmed.

The store, located at 380 Dairy Road near Hāna Highway will offer 50% off all items on the last three days of operation, March 11-13, 2017.

The thrift retailer has become a favorite for gently-used Halloween costumes and designer labels at discount prices.  Seniors were also encouraged by the weekly 30% discount on Tuesdays.

According to the company website, every Savers store has a Community Donation Center with the Maui store benefiting the nonprofit Big Brothers and Sisters of Maui.

Company officials told employees that while Savers continues to experience growth, there are business challenges in several markets.

According to a letter to employees, store executives said, “We are not immune to rising labor costs and other trends pressuring the retail industry.”  The letter further stated that, “As a thrift retailer, securing quality products at a manageable cost is critical to our success. This environment makes it even more important to be discerning in how we invest our resources and ensure we are concentrating our efforts where we can make the most impact toward achieving our strategic goals.”

The company is reportedly closing 14 stores in the US where “local market conditions” have prevented the retailer “from meeting performance goals.”

Sources tell us that the store was unable to self sustain with donations from the local community and had to import containers of merchandise.

J.D. Wyatt Executive Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui said the nonprofit delivered over a half a million pounds of product to Savers last year and that the Maui nonprofit actually had back to back record years. He expressed disappointment in the closure of the Maui store, but said the good news for BBBS of Maui is that the organization will continue its donation pickups here on Maui, and will continue to be a supply chain for Saver’s other stores in Hawaiʻi. “They are not looking to abandon us,” he said.

By maintaining its relationship with Savers, BBBS of Maui will be able to continue its download of revenue into its Maui programs. Although plans are to supply donations for other stores, all money raised on Maui will continue to say on Maui and will be invested in important programs here.

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He noted that the Hale Makana O Waiale mentoring program in Wailuku was made possible entirely on profits in being a supply chain for Savers.

BBBS of Maui will continue to conduct residential pickup, and accept donations at its various drop off sites. The Wailuku facility currently reports an estimated 20 drop-offs per day, and is hoping to maintain the level of donations to provide ongoing support for its programs.

Wyatt said shipping containers is a “normal business model” for Savers, and said he believed that the closure was not about supplies, but rather performance guidelines.

Supporters of the 45 employees at the Maui store say it’s not fair to compare the Kahului operation to the two other Hawaiʻi stores on Oʻahu that are three times its size.

Employees reportedly learned of the planned closure on Thursday.

Maui Now has learned that there are several long-time employees at the Kahului location, with at least one employee that was two years from retirement, others who have been with the company for two decades, and many who have been employed for 4-6 years.

The company reports that Savers locations across the US, Canada and Australia re-purposed over 650 million pounds of goods in a single year.

The company has been in operation for more than 60 years and now has 329 stores, more than 70 of which opened since 2012.  The Maui store has been in operation for 22 years, first opening on Alamaha Street, and then opening the Dairy Road location on Sept. 16, 2004.

Savers has an email address where concerns and comments are accepted: customercare@savers.com

Savers, Kahului. PC: Wendy Osher.

Savers, Kahului. PC: Wendy Osher.

Savers, Kahului. PC: Wendy Osher.

Savers, Kahului. PC: Wendy Osher.

Savers, Kahului. PC: Wendy Osher.

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served more than 15 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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