Pier 1 Imports Prepares to Open at PKP
It’s almost here. Pier 1 Imports at the Prince Kuhio Plaza will open its doors on Friday to the public and the store is ready for business. Grand opening festivities for the location begin at 9:30 a.m. and the store will make its first official store opening to the public at 10 a.m.
“As part of our continued commitment to the Hawai’i Island community, we are pleased to bring this new Pier 1 Imports to the east side of Hawai’i Island,” Alex W. Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pier 1 Imports said. “Pier 1 Imports offers merchandise that fits all decorating styles, as well as a broad array of affordable holiday decor, furniture, and gifts, and we look forward to continuing to share our unique shopping experience with the residents and visitors of Hawai’i.”
Big Island Now got a sneak peak on Thursday of what the public can expect. The store was bursting with colors, patterns, and textures with a decorative gift or home item to fit just about any style. Raised ceilings, wall to wall merchandise, and bright lighting made the 10,538-square foot location look much larger.
The new location will be managed by Michelle Jerden, who is originally from the East Side of the Big Island. She later moved to the East Coast and eventually worked at Pier 1 Imports on the mainland before finding her way back to the Big Island in 2012 for the opening of the Kona Pier 1 store.
“I have been with Pier 1 for about five and half years, so to have the transition to come back home, and then this opportunity to really come home, to be back on the east side of the island, is really awesome,” Jerden told Big Island Now. “It felt like coming home moving to Kona until I did this, and then I was like nope, now I’m home. This is home.”
Pier 1 Imports’ Prince Kuhio location will be the eighth in the state. The first store in Hawai’i opened in 1998 at the Ward Center on Oahu. The company has spread throughout the Hawaiian Islands, reaching every major island. The Kona store opened on the Big Island in 2012 and was the first in the state to feature Pier 1 Import’s new store concept that features easy navigation while continuing to maintain its signature “treasure hunt” feel. In addition to the new store concept’s overall appearance, it brings a sense of practicality as customers are able to explore items in a more intimate way, getting an understanding of how items will fit into their own homes.
At its opening, the company will employ between 20-30 associates. Store officials expect that the number will fluctuate based on the demand and season.
“We had a lot of applicants. I wanted to hire everyone but we just really tried to build a really cohesive team, a broad range of people, because our clients are a broad range.” Jerden said. “It was all personality and selling. We try really hard in this company to build a connection with our customer so having associates who reflect that is really important.”
In addition to the store’s grand opening, the company will show its dedication to supporting the local community by making a $2,500 donation to Child & Family Services, a local nonprofit organization that dedicates itself to strengthening families and fostering the healthy development of children in Hawai’i. The company has previously made multiple donations to the nonprofit and will make its latest donation as part of the grand opening celebration.
Along with its dedication to supporting local communities through giving back, Pier 1 Imports is excited about the brand’s introduction to the East Hawai’i community.
“We are really excited to introduce our brand to the local community. When we opened in Kona, there were people who had never seen our brand so it’s really exciting to have this store here,” Jerden said. “Our client is anywhere from 1-year-old to a hundred, men, women, and every walk of life. We have something for everyone, so it is really exciting to have this opportunity.”