Ala Moana Center's new Ewa Wing boasts Hawaii firsts such as Bloomingdale's. // © 2015 Ala Moana Center
Feature image (above): Shops and restaurants with North Shore ties enliven Hukilau Marketplace. // © 2015 Polynesian Cultural Center
From local boutiques with island artwork to showrooms of designer clothing, Oahu’s newest shopping options aim to satisfy browsers and buyers alike.
Two prominent Hawaii-style malls have recently gone through major makeovers, and three new shopping centers are garnering attention with their mix of local and national wares.
Here’s a look at the five shopping venues that are making waves on Oahu’s retail scene.
Ala Moana Center
The world’s largest outdoor shopping center, this Honolulu behemoth unveiled the results of a multimillion-dollar expansion this past November. Ala Moana Center’s new three-level Ewa Wing features several Hawaii firsts, including Bloomingdale’s, The North Face, Aesop and Zara. June 2016 will see the debut of the center’s $35 million Japan Village Walk — a retail, restaurant and entertainment area reminiscent of a traditional Japanese town, complete with an 800-seat food court and beer garden.
Haleiwa Store Lots
Haleiwa, the North Shore’s hip surf town, recently welcomed this plantation-inspired collection of merchants. Paying homage to the area’s history, Haleiwa Store Lots is made up of emporiums that are either locally owned or have roots in the community. Clients can pick up iconic aloha shirts at Kahala Sportswear, buy shore-break wave photos at Clark Little Photography, grab some quirky keepsakes at Spam Hawaii and visit the famous Matsumoto Shave Ice in its newly expanded space.
Clients can visit this open-air shopping plaza during their North Shore explorations, whether or not they tour the adjacent Polynesian Cultural Center. Open since early 2015, Hukilau Marketplace houses 40 retail, dining and activity providers, many with longstanding ties to the region. Among its distinctive tenants are Laie General Store, with Hawaii-inspired gifts and local snacks such as crack seed; Mana o Polynesia, home of carved wood creations; and Jaseboards, a North Shore-based longboard and streetboard company.
International Market Place
Gone is the old International Market Place, a decades-old Polynesian-themed mix of souvenir stands and shops. Rising in its place is an upscale development in the heart of Waikiki, slated to open next August. The 360,000-square-foot shopping center will include 75 retailers — including the island’s first Saks Fifth Avenue — and a Grand Lanai with an array of restaurants. Nostalgia buffs take note: The century-old banyan tree that presided over the old shopping center has been preserved.
Ka Makana Alii
As west Oahu emerges as a visitor destination, this vast regional mall hopes to capture its share of the market. Opening in 2016, Ka Makana Alii will boast 150 shopping, dining and entertainment venues, plus two hotels. Along with anchor tenant Macy’s, clients will find stores such as H&M, Forever 21, Gap, Old Navy, Town & Country Surf Designs and Reyn Spooner. With well-known restaurants like California Pizza Kitchen and local eateries such as Luibueno’s Mexican and Latin Cuisine, it promises to be a standout Oahu shopping mecca.