Sidney and Minnie Kosasa opened their first drug store in 1949. After a trip to Miami Beach, Sidney watched visitors shopping local convenience stores instead of higher priced hotel shops. That observation provided the impetus for the ABC concept, stores conveniently located for visitors, with merchandise sold at competitive prices. Although Sidney died in November 2006, the stores are still owned by the Kosasa family.
The first store was opened on Waikiki Beach in 1964. It carried grocery, souvenirs, drugs and cosmetics that a visitor would need. Today, the company has stores on every major Hawaiian Island, including almost 40 units within a one-mile-radius of Waikiki. There are a dozen stores on Maui, five on the Big Island and three on Kauai. There are also eight locations in Guam and two in Saipan and another eight stores in Las Vegas. Because of the tourism focus, ABC regards Las Vegas as “another island.” Tourists are known to cross-travel between Hawaii and Las Vegas, so the stores take a similar approach by locating in or near hotel lobbies and carrying souvenir items and snacks.
Stores offer a large variety at reasonable prices and cater to locals, as well as tourists. What might surprise a visitor is the quantity and variety, especially foods and beverages with a Hawaiian flavor.
The Honolulu-based company says its biggest challenge has been keeping big-box retailers out of their backyard, particularly in the Waikiki area. ABC Stores connect with local realtors and lease available land to keep big-box retailers out.
In 2014, all stores underwent a total remodeling, including interior and exterior paint, pumps and fountain equipment.
|No. of Stores:||73|
|Average Store Size:||2,500-4,000 sq. ft.|
|Rank Last Year:||92|
|States of Operation:||Hawaii, Nevada|