Retail sector heating up

The announcement Thursday that Target will open a store on Maui in 2015 is good news for shoppers on the Valley Isle.

The national retailer will provide more competition here with its 141,200-square-foot store in the planned new Puunene Shopping Center on Hookelele Street.

Friday’s Maui News story about Target’s intention and the building of the new shopping center shows once again confidence that our economy is bouncing back and will continue to grow.

According to various Web sources, the company operates more than 1,700 stores on the Mainland. It has four stores in Hawaii – two on Oahu and two on the Big Island.

The new shopping center will be built by Property Development Centers, a subsidiary of Safeway. It announced it had reached agreement to buy 24.45 acres at the site from Alexander & Baldwin and then will turn around and sell 12 of those acres to Target.

While the visitor industry has bounced back strongly from the recession, other sectors of the economy had continued to lag. Retail, in particular, seemed to still be down.

But recent activities in the Maui Lani development and plans for a shopping center in Kihei show a stronger vision for our retail sector.

Thursday’s announcement reinforces that perception. All the activity means Maui’s shoppers will have more choices and more competition for their business.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.