Three of them, to be exact.

Mainland ‘Maxxinistas’ probably don’t get too excited about a new store opening, but here on the island, any addition to our shopping options is a celebration, especially when it also offers substantial savings for our already-strained pocketbooks.

TJ Maxx sits on Auahi Street, across of Tango Market.

Returning to the island after a 16-year absence, the opening of TJ Maxx’s 1,001st store (with two more slated to open on Oahu) has caused a stir of anticipation for soon-to-be bargain shoppers looking for the latest in fashion. I was relieved to hear that Hawaii stores will have the cheaper mainland prices, stating there will be 10,000 new pieces of merchandise out on the racks every week. That’s a very tall order, as there are usually many emptied racks in other discount stores. The items they bring will be current, not last year’s fashions, and will reflect the climate and special style of Hawaii. The store regional manager is a kama’aina (from Hawaii) and says he will be mindful of the store’s place in the community.

While the store officially opened this morning (May 3, 2012), I went on a pre-tour to see the store and about died because I couldn’t buy anything yet. The store’s bright and airy with a long line of 10 registers to handle customers. Situated on the third floor of Ward Center, there is plenty of free parking. Very large elevators and an escalator (plus an impressively tall stairway) make it easy for customers to get to the store level.

TJ Maxx promises to restock their racks with 10,000 new pieces every week.

When I entered the store, I noticed that overhead department signs were also in Japanese. To the right of the entrance, there is a department they call the Runway, with items from top designers in America and Europe. This particular department is not available in all stores. It contained top-notch apparel and bags and seemed to catch the attention of the other women in my group over other parts of the store. The jewelry department was well-stocked and also contained fine jewelry. Designers will vary, but I did see a few pieces that were island-related. In other departments, I saw that shoes had a good number of slippers in addition to current styles. Housewares seemed pretty standard for content, while the Men’s department took up a smaller but well-stocked corner.

I did take a good look around to find items made in Hawaii, as the publicity stated they would have some local designs. And while what they said is true, it’s extremely limited. These home-grown items are mostly in the gift department, like candy and coffee. But I’m not complaining. I’m glad they are here, and I will certainly shop there, along with the other half-million women on this island.

You can find some Hawaii items here, like coffee and candy. But most is mainland fashion items.

TJ MAXX • Ward Village Shops, 3rd floor, across from Tango Market • Opens Mon-Sat 930am-930pm, Sun 11am-8pm • Free parking, near bus route

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