Business/In Brief • Dec. 2, 2014

Kmart opens ‘Fresh Grocery’ department

Kmart in Kahului recently opened its “Fresh Grocery” department, which includes fresh fruit and vegetables, produce, meats and baked goods.

The Kahului Kmart is one of the first Kmart stores to offer the new Fresh Grocery department, according to a company news release.

Store hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

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Landmark Papaikou store plans to close

HILO – A landmark Papaikou store with ties to the community over more than nine decades is shuttering its doors.

Pinky’s, which stands out for its melon, blue and hot pink color scheme, as well as its inventory of toys and fireworks, will close Saturday.

Owner Colleen Aina said “it’s just time” to close.

“It’s been 25 years that I’ve had this company,” she said.

Her grandparents, Tsukomo and Ume Hironaka, founded T. Hironaka Store, a sugar plantation store, at the location in 1921.

“They ran it from 1921 to 1960,” she said. “Another family, the Morigakis, ran it from 1960 to 1988. After some planning and buying and stuff, finally Pinky’s was born May 26, 1989.”

Aina previously worked in retail merchandising, advertising and marketing. When she started Pinky’s, she copied a color scheme from a business in New Zealand.

Her business also featured a memorable motto and jingle: “Cheap, cheap, cheap! Plenty, plenty, plenty!” to the tune of “Jingle Bells.”

She tried to make Pinky’s a traditional convenience store but expanded.

“I wanted to do something a little more exciting. I started carrying toys. I did Pokemon, the craze with the cards and the toys. I sold the Razor scooters when they were in.”

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Jump in cruise ship visitors expected

HILO – A slight increase in cruise ship visitors to Hilo is expected next year.

Advance bookings for 2015 show an increase of one ship, with a potential of more than 3,000 visitors.

A maximum of nearly 239,000 cruise ship visitors are expected in Hilo altogether, based on bookings.

Cruise ship visitor numbers have steadily increased since a drop in 2008 saw the numbers cut in half.

Hilo once was a destination for a half-million cruise ship visitors.