Discounts: Little shop's aloha


HONOLULU -- Forty-year-old Hilo Hattie is not just another store selling Aloha shirts to visitors. The self-described travel retailer wants to become part of every island vacation.

Free shuttles from Waikiki arrive throughout the day at the 25,000-square-foot Nimitz Highway store, which at its entrance resembles a bus terminal.

Approximately 2.5 million people shop at the eight Hilo Hattie stores throughout the islands each year, according to Carlton Kramer, vice president of sales and marketing.

Travelers are given a free gift and may also obtain 2-for-1 coupons to the most popular attractions on each island.

"We now take our store to the hotels," added Kramer. If an incentive group has 150 attendees, Hilo Hattie will bring 300 garments to the hotel for display in what Kramer calls a "Hawaiian shirt shack."

Visitors will find 11 store shuttle pick-up points in Waikiki. Drop-off points at Ala Moana Shopping Center and Aloha Tower Marketplace on the return trip enable visitors to extend their shopping excursion.

The store sells casual wear, island traditions and contemporary items. Maui Divers jewelry is available, as are Mauna Loa macadamia nuts, usually found only on the Big Island.

Hilo Hattie provides year-round discounts to travel agents on most items.

In addition, agents can receive 20% off all Hilo Hattie merchandise for the holidays at The discount code is HHAGENT.

To contact reporter Katherine Nichols, send e-mail to [email protected].

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