A New Level For Hilo Hattie

By Donald Kang
Wednesday - August 19, 2009
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The Hilo Hattie management team (front, from left) Terri Funakoshi, Don Kang, Felix Calvo (back) Bruce Bonar, Carlton Kramer, Chad Dias, Craig Bingham, Mark Storfer and David Jung

I’ve lived my life with a simple set of principles. I strive to live by the golden rule of treating others the way I want to be treated. In business, my goal is to always deliver the highest value to my customers. I created Royal Hawaiian Creations in 1986 under these two principles and grew this company into one of Hawaii’s largest Hawaiian garment manufacturers and wholesalers.

And now I plan to grow Hilo Hattie under these two principles. Every Hilo Hattie customer will be treated with courtesy and respect because that is how I want to be treated, and the value of every item sold in Hilo Hattie, both in terms of price and quality, will exceed our customers’ expectations.

My vision for Hilo Hattie, one of Hawaii’s oldest retailers, is to provide the largest selection of made-in-Hawaii fashions and gifts. I plan to continue manufacturing under the Hilo Hattie label, and supplementing other name-brand manufacturers’fashions to our stores’ inventory. All seven stores in Hawaii will offer our shoppers Tori Richards, Iolani, Royal Hawaiian Creations and wide variety of other garment manufacturers. I have asked our merchandising department to focus on women’s fashions and to be innovative in their styles and prints. I also plan to expand the children’s line of garments with fun and unique designs not offered by any other company. Our garment sizes will start from 6 months for infants, go up to 5XL for the men and 3XL for the women. All our garments, products and services at Hilo Hattie will now have our new 100 percent quality and customer-satisfaction guarantee.

One of the biggest projects I am working on is to make additional investments in our flagship Nimitz store. I plan to bring back manufacturing to the ground level of the store, so that our customers can view the garments being made while shopping. I also am working on creating group-briefing rooms at this central store location that can be used, for free, by local organizations for their meetings, or for tour operators for their breakfast briefings, rest stops or luncheon needs.

Being a local resident, I appreciate it when I get kamaaina discounts from other companies in Hawaii. So one of the first things I did after acquiring Hilo Hattie was to institute a kamaaina discount program for locals and military personnel. Now locals and all personnel of the armed forces qualify for discounts at Hilo Hattie by simply showing their picture ID.

I am confident that Hilo Hattie - The Store of Hawaii will excel under my new management team and will become a store that truly represents the best that Hawaii has to offer to our visitors, and will be a store that the people of Hawaii will be proud to call its own. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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