The coroner’s report on Ward Centre’s H-Zone apparel store should list the cause of death as “lolo idea.”
It was never the right choice to place a store where the foot traffic for sports apparel was limited and the decor resembled a seasonal store selling holiday-gift sausages. “Lose money,” as my Grandpa Kubo used to say.
It wasn’t the product. I go to Kailua’s Target five times a week and the checkout lines are jammed with tourists buying anything that says “Hawaii.” OK, it was the lack of products. In trying so hard to protect and promote the H logo — even changing the name from the catchy Rainbowtique — UH limited itself from expanding more into Rainbow and island-chain designs. ButiGroove and Barefoot League are among companies proving there’s a market — and demand — for an extensive and innovative merchandise line.
Now that UH is getting out of the off-campus-store business, it will continue to succeed in an area that it does best: licensing. Right now, H-licensed products can be found in supermarkets, service-station markets, and other places where they sell, well, things. UH does not need its own store to sell products; it just needs its products to be sold in stores. No overhead, no salaries.
It also would be wonderful if UH re-opened the Stan Sheriff Center apparel/merchandise store during the school hours and weekdays. It used to be a great opportunity for the many Lower Campus visitors to pick up souvenirs. Sure,there’s the debate whether it’s worth it to staff a store during non-event hours. But unlike the H-Zone, the Sheriff Center store is rent-free and in a convenient location.
* * * * *
UH baseball is 7-for-7.
All seven seniors will be graduating tomorrow or this summer, according to coach Mike Trapasso.
Kudos to third baseman Josh Rojas, outfielders Marcus Doi and Alex Fitchett, and pitchers Brendan Hornung, Casey Ryan, Kyle Mitchell and Isaac Friesen.