A song to get in your head during your Waikiki vacation. And it’s a GOOD thing.

I think I’ve heard all the jokes about the ABC stores in Waikiki, because I know I made most of them the first few weeks I lived in Waikiki. And my guests started up about by day 1+. Just recently an in-law made the usual joke his first day, but he was singing a different tune by the time he left, as he hunted down the store for a last pop in before heading to the airport.

Lotions, lei, food and store front.

It calls itself “The Store with Aloha”, and it certainly is friendly and helpful. Family-owned and started as a pharmacy, later expanding into convenience products for visitors, it’s locally grown since 1964, and here on Oahu it is exclusively in Waikiki. Once you see how many there are, you’ll find it easy to believe that there are 37 within a square mile in the beach strip. I personally enjoy going into these stores to see the products they feature. I have to give them exceptional kudos for keeping up with the latest trends and local products. The stock rotates often, which keeps it interesting, even for islanders. I learned early on that it’s the home of the cheapest fountain soda on the strip and I hit it every time I go to the one at Ala Moana Center (lowest level, near center stage) before shopping. It’s also a good stop for a relatively inexpensive snack or sushi. It’s well above average convenience store quality. Actually that’s an understatement. On a recent visit to the Big Island, we stayed at the Waikoloa Village and discovered an amazingly wonderful addition to the Queen’s Market Place – the Island Gourmet. It’s a deli, grocery, winery, take- out wonder of locally-grown and high quality foods. And then I find out it’s a subsidiary of the ABC store corporation – a very big nod to the quality of the food offered at the Waikiki stores. So don’t hesitate to buy. This is not the sandwich filled with something questionable that you find in a mainland 24 hr store.

fashions and even a mirror!

Then there is the cutest! selection of slippers (flip flops) you’ll find around town plus decent priced t-shirts and hats and towels. But what I like the best is the local lotions and scents and oils. Lots of testers available too! It can be your very first stop to get a suitable inexpensive Hawaiian’ dress or cover up so as to feel at one with the island. I’ve seen their garments come up more than a few notches in styling over the years, and they are darn cute now. You can pick up a liquor lei for your uncle back home, and the ever popular tiki keychain for the young driver in the family. And all the while they play very nice Hawaiian music in the back ground. It makes me want to hang out a little longer to browse.

the cutest towel & my new FAV recycle bag for groceries… a hit anywhere on the mainland, don’t you think!.

As I left the store down on Lewer’s street, I overheard a family talking as they went in. They obviously were keeping count of the stores they’d been in, and were up to number 17 in their “quest” to hit all of them while on vacation. I had to laugh, thinking that this was somehow a vacation activity for them, set amongst the palms and beaches and pools of Waikiki. I think that alone is a testament to this chain’s popularity. Just take a look at their website and you’ll see what you are in store for. The owners have a formula that works. It’s available to the world via online sales, and one last tip: keep that ABC Gold card they give you with your first purchase. You’ll think you won’t be back, but you will, and after $100 you get a free gift.


  1. I have learned over the years to buy all my toiletries once I land in Hawaii at the ABC. Saves room in my suitcase, don't have to worry about forgetting to bring something, or stuff leaking in my suitcase. I loooove ABCs.

  2. Yes, there are a ton of ABC stores in Waikiki, but I love that they are open very late so you can pop in for a drink or snack before heading to your hotel!

  3. You got to love ABC stores. There is no other place you can get rubber slippers, a spam musubi, Hawaiian Host chocolates, and an aloha shirt all in one store

  4. My grandson, who is a university student, also works at the ABC store at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, and he says it is crazy busy ALL the time.  ABC stores have so much 'Hawaii' merchandise  and are on every corner making it a dream store for all tourists.  Not to mention a favorite for last minute souvenirs.

  5. oppss. somehow my early comment didn't get posted….  
    well anyway, I see everyone agree they are everywhere and have everything.  I think what I appreciate the most about them is their low fountain drink prices, and that the merchandise is interesting… interesting enough to keep you looking further… whoever does their purchasing is doing a good  job for variety.  the one at the hilton always has a line at the cash register… yes, I've stood in it before,  but the AMC one has many cashiers ready and open.    I appreciate the ABC stores, but am glad they are only in Waikiki … 🙂

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