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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, January 10, 2002

Business briefs

Advertiser Staff and News Services

Virtual mall shuts its doors

Pacific-Trader.com, a virtual shopping mall launched in Hawai'i in 1999 to tap into the e-commerce craze, shut down last month because of falling sales since Sept. 11.

Pacific-Trader was a joint venture between Communications-Pacific chief executive officer Kitty Lagareta and American Savings Bank.

At its peak, Pacific-Trader had 300 businesses and thousands of sales per month, Lagareta said. Organizers estimated the site could generate $100,000 to $200,000 in sales a month — but competition from other sites and clients leaving to start their own Internet ventures cut into sales and profits. When the site closed Dec. 26, Pacific-Trader.com had 100 to 125 businesses left and fewer than a thousand sales a month.

Internet Concept Solutions, which provided the Internet services for the site under contract, said it would reassign four of the five employees working on the project and lay off one.

Leading indicator slides further

The effects of the Sept. 11 attacks are starting to show up in data used to calculate the state's leading economic indicator, which fell in October for the 17th consecutive month, the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism said.

Six of the 10 indicators that make up the LEI composite were negative in October.

The Hawai'i leading economic indicator, or LEI, is compiled by DBEDT's Research and Economic Analysis Division and signals economic activity five to 10 months in the future. A rise in the index signals faster growth ahead, a decline signals slower growth.

Three of the indicators based on data from the Hawai'i economy were up, DBEDT said. The index for O'ahu real estate sales increased during October, as did the indexes for the values of construction permits and the price of O'ahu real estate.