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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, November 24, 2001

Macy's launches new era of Hawai'i retailing

 •  Hard times don't dampen ardor of Hawai'i shoppers
 •  Holiday shopping frenzy begins

Advertiser Staff and News Services

What was once Liberty House at Ala Moana Center is now Macy's. The 152-year-old national retailing powerhouse officially began operations yesterday morning at former Liberty House stores statewide and on Guam.

Richard Ambo • The Honolulu Advertiser

Thousands of shoppers arrived early yesterday to see the official opening of Macy's at Ala Moana Center, which until 7 a.m. had been Liberty House for 151 years.

Giant black, red and gold balloon archways covered the storefront in the mall until the balloons were snipped aside, framing a new Macy's sign. When the doors finally opened, hundreds of shoppers streamed into the newly converted store.

Macy's unveiled its official signs yesterday at 17 former Liberty House department stores across the Islands to similar crowds. A salesperson in the housewares department of Macy's on Kaua'i said that 20 people were waiting in line at her register yesterday morning and that the flow of customers was steady.

Liberty House on Guam also became part of the national Federated Department Stores empire that has more than $18.4 billion in annual sales, and includes Macy's, Bloomingdales and other upscale retailers.

With the Macy's openings, Liberty House's 151-year tradition in Hawai'i gave way to a 152-year national retailing powerhouse, while retaining a Hawaiian flavor.

Shoppers stream into Macy's at Ala Moana Center at 7 a.m.

Richard Ambo • The Honolulu Advertiser

The Hawaiian Macy's operation is the only one with its own regional merchandising team, said Jeremiah J. Sullivan, Macy's West chairman chief executive. Sullivan and other Macy's officials welcomed local officials and shoppers at the Ala Moana store.

Macy's West has 137 stores with 30,000 employees in seven states and Guam.

Federated announced the purchase of Liberty House operations in June. The company says it has a long-term commitment to being Hawai'i's No. 1 retailer in terms of merchandise and in becoming part of Hawai'i's "day-to-day lifestyle."