Ala Moana Center Has a Big Hit on Their Nicely Scented Sanitized Hands

Here’s a fact I learned about this store – that it is the largest retailer of hand sanitizer in the nation. Being all about cleanliness, I was sort of glad to hear this, now that the store has arrived 3000 miles from it’s closest sister store.

Monday was the Grand Opening for this brand new shop at the Mall level, Macy’s end. There was a lot of advanced press about it, so I decided to attend and see how well received the store was.

Well, I was in for a surprise. After all, I’m a relative newcomer to the state and was used to going to B&BW any time I wanted at my hometown local mall, for as long as I can remember. Not so for Hawaii residents, and they were out in force to show support. I arrived 45 minutes before the scheduled 9:30am opening time to find myself at the end of a line of well over 200 people. Security obviously anticipated this turnout, as they had designated lanes for the shoppers to stand in, and thankfully they picked a shady area, as it was already getting quite hot in the sun. The line stretched down 5 or 6 store fronts, then around the corner and all the way out to the street front. The store opened its doors, with some announcements, fanfare, and cheers from the crowd, about 15 minutes earlier than scheduled. This pleased the crowd, especially the first woman in line who had been there since before 7 AM.

Top: the very long line around the corner. Bottom: first shopper meets the press & happy women.

The B&BW staff manned the doors and let the crowd in 25 or so at a time. I watched from the outside and it was quite a while before anyone came back out. When I finally got in the store, I saw why. These shoppers were serious about buying! I heard one woman say she’d been waiting 15 years for this store to get here to Hawaii. Others were talking about how they always shop this store when on the mainland and bring back product for friends and family. I saw women with bags jammed packed with merchandise, with some reports of check outs in the hundreds of dollars at a time, bringing cheers from the people behind the registers. An hour or so later I was ready to leave the store and was very surprised to see the line just as long as when I went in. As people went into the store, even more shoppers were added to the line. Late in the day I read online via Twitter that there was still a line, not quite as long, but still a line to get in.

Top: best sellers and island scents bottom: scent inspired via Victoria Secrets & shopper with lots of stuff to buy.

I did enjoy seeing the product line at this store. I hadn’t been in one for years, and liked the way they categorize their scents into personality. I tried on many new (to me) scents and couldn’t decide which I liked best. I’m a fan of coconut scent, and was glad to see they had one in their tropics line. And the store representative acknowledged that for this opening the company released their newest scent, Into The Wild, prior to its official release on the mainland. They felt opening this new store would be a great way to premier it. I got a small bottle of this lotion and find its scent lively and full of citrus. There’s nothing I love more than an exclusive to Hawaii, and while this isn’t completely the case, it will be for a few weeks at least. So visiting shoppers could actually take something from this store back to the mainland instead of vice versa. That would be pretty cool.

Video: the opening cheer! & how busy this store was

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