Destinations

Hawaii on sale

Ashlee Galea

Shopping in Hawaii is nothing short of sensational.

Hawaii provides American retail therapy with a Pacific island twist. Visitors can shop U.S. and international brands ’til they drop at a plethora of indoor and outdoor malls, multi-level department stores, flagship retailers, big-box chains, factory outlets, one-of-a-kind boutiques and mom-and-pop shops.

While bargains abound in the Hawaiian Islands year-round, it’s worth taking advantage of key sales periods to really get the best bang for your buck!

JANUARY-FEBRUARY

1 January: New Years Day

Skip the hangover, New Years Day presents an excellent opportunity to shop for discounts as retailers seek to shift their remaining holiday stock. Items associated with New Year’s resolutions tend to be reduced. Home-goods stores also run “white sales” all January long with massive reductions on bedding and bath linens.

Third Monday in January: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

The birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. is celebrated with an American federal holiday known as Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Stores go on sale in the hope of convincing locals with an extra day off to spend it making retail purchases.

14 February: Valentine’s Day

Sales are in full force pre- and post- Valentine’s Day on all things romantic, especially jewellery in the wake of this celebration of love.

Third Monday in February: Presidents’ Day

Originally established to honour the birth of the first U.S. president, George Washington, Presidents’ Day has become a celebration of all presidential leaders. This American federal holiday creates a three-day weekend shopping bonanza. Most deals aren’t luggage-friendly, think furniture, appliances and home goods, but great clothing specials can be found.

MARCH-APRIL

March or April depending on the lunar calendar: Easter Weekend

While Easter is first-and-foremost a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the lead-up to this event and its long weekend are yet another excuse for shops to go on sale. Look out for chocolate treats and gift baskets.

MAY-JUNE

Second Sunday in May: Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day pays homage to motherhood and the extraordinary women in our lives. Products with feminine flair fly out the door from fragrances, handbags, and make-up, to sleepwear, books and cookware. Note, Mother’s Day in Australia is also in May.

Last Monday in May: Memorial Day

Members of the military who died fighting for their country are remembered on Memorial Day. As the season turns from spring to summer, this is an excellent time for “out with the old and in with the new”, and the big brands take full advantage.

Third Sunday in June: Father’s Day

Father’s Day is all about fatherhood and the exceptional men in our lives. Products with a masculine touch sell like hotcakes from home-improvement goods and electronics, to BBQ equipment, car accessories, and sporting gear. Note, Father’s Day in Australia is in September.

JULY-AUGUST

4 July: Independence Day

On the Fourth of July every year Americans commemorate the birth of their nation, known as Independence Day. Retailers decorate their stores in red, white and blue and tout stars-and-stripes discounts before, during and after this American federal holiday. July and August are also the best months to score half-yearly clearance sales.

SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER

First Monday in September: Labor Day

Formerly, Labor Day constitutes an annual national tribute to the contribution workers have made to the prosperity and well-being of the United States. Informally, Labor Day is an entire weekend of great deals, particularly on apparel, summer stock and back-to-school items.

Second Monday in October: Columbus Day

Columbus Day, celebrated as Discoverers’ Day in Hawaii, is an American federal (not state) holiday. This day is not met with much fanfare, and while it does garner a sprinkle of sales, they are modest in comparison to other dates on the calendar.

NOVEMBER-DECEMBER

Fourth Thursday in November: Thanksgiving

The Day after Thanksgiving: Black Friday

America’s first Thanksgiving was celebrated by Pilgrims after their first harvest in 1621, today it’s a beloved national holiday spent with loved ones to give thanks for life’s blessings. The day after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday, it’s Hawaii’s biggest sale of the year and marks the start of the Christmas shopping season. Retailers have started to hold Black Friday sales all month long, launch specials on Thanksgiving day itself, and even open for Midnight Madness reduced-to-clear events on the eve of Black Friday.

The Monday following Thanksgiving: Cyber Monday

The Monday after Thanksgiving is deemed Cyber Monday, think of it as the online version of Black Friday. Deep discounts “break the internet” as online retailers significantly drop their prices. Travel deals are prolific on Cyber Monday from airline, hotel and cruise specials to holiday packages boasting added bonuses.

26 December to 8 January: After Christmas Sales

The lead up to Christmas Day right through to the first week of January is a shopping frenzy in Hawaii! Retailers vie for the attention of gift-givers at this time of year, and once Santa Claus has delivered his presents, the massive clearouts begin. Savvy shoppers will scoop up next years holiday decor and children’s toys at a discount right after Christmas Day.

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