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Walmart’s going where?


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When we learned that Walmart intends to move into the 80,000-square-foot downtown building formerly occupied by Macy’s, our reaction moved through stages. First came denial (Walmart? No way!). Then came sarcasm (Guess we can wear our elastic-waist pants downtown now!). As the reality sunk in that the world’s largest retailer is about to become our new next-door neighbor—whether we like it or not—we jumped right to convenience (Well, of course, if we need to stock up on toilet paper after work …). Wondering how other downtown denizens took the news, we hit the streets with this question:

What was your reaction when you heard that the old Macy’s is going to become a Walmart?
 

“I was disappointed. I was hoping it would be a Nordstrom Rack, or something like that.”
—Pegge Hopper, owner of Pegge Hopper Gallery
 

“I think it’s wonderful. It will bring more people to the neighborhood. It will be a destination location and everybody around will benefit.”
—Sandra Pohl, owner of Louis Pohl Gallery
 

“My first thought was, ‘Oh, that’s a big step down from Macy’s.’ Honestly, my second thought was, it’s going to bring more people into the area.”
—Donna Blanchard, managing director of Kumu Kahua Theatre
 

“I was surprised, because I thought they were going to demolish Macy’s and put up a residential tower.”
—Jonathan Saupe,  co-owner of Barrio Vintage clothing boutique
 

“I don’t want Walmart. It makes me sad inside. But then, if you need something, it’s right there.”
—Rona Bennett, co-owner of Fighting Eel clothing boutique

“It’s not going to stop me from going to Chinatown to do my marketing.”
—Dallas Weyand II, president of the Rotary Club of Downtown Honolulu
 

“They’ve got some great deals at Walmart!”
—Gary Fischer, construction contractor
 

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Honolulu Magazine November 2018
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