Pier 1 Imports to open store in Hilo

Pier 1 Imports is prepping to open a store in Hilo within Prince Kuhio Plaza.

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Pier 1 Imports is prepping to open a store in Hilo within Prince Kuhio Plaza.

Mall general manager Kimberly Shimabuku on Wednesday confirmed the furniture and gift store planned to open in the space across from International House of Pancakes, where the Sure Foundation church is currently located.

However, she couldn’t provide any details as of press time, saying that all questions had to be forwarded via email to the mall’s director of marketing, who was out of the office until Monday.

It was unclear when Pier 1 would be moving into the building, how long any renovations of the large space could take, or when the retailer could open its doors to the public. Calls and an email to Pier 1’s corporate offices and its communications department were not returned as of press time Wednesday.

A woman at the Pier 1 store in Kailua-Kona who did not want to give her name said that the Prince Kuhio Plaza location was one of several spots the company had been considering in Hilo.

“Customers have been saying since we opened the store (in Kona) two years ago that they wanted a store in Hilo pretty much every day we heard that,” she said. “We get it a lot.”

Headquartered in Forth Worth, Texas, Pier 1 Imports launched with a single store in San Mateo, Calif., in 1962.

Pier 1’s most recent additions have been in Hawaii — with two stores opening in May in Kapolei and Lihue. There are also locations in Pearl City, Honolulu, Kailua, Kahului and Kailua-Kona.

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The publicly traded company reported in June total sales of $419.1 million and gross profit of $167.7 million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2015.

Email Colin M. Stewart at cstewart@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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