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Times Supermarket in Kailua to close, reopen as Tokyo Central

Nina Wu
NINA WU / NWU@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                The Times Supermarket in Kailua is slated to close March 31. Pan Pacific Retail Management plans to replace it with Hawaii’s first Tokyo Central, an Asian specialty market.
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NINA WU / NWU@STARADVERTISER.COM

The Times Supermarket in Kailua is slated to close March 31. Pan Pacific Retail Management plans to replace it with Hawaii’s first Tokyo Central, an Asian specialty market.

The Times Supermarket in Kailua is slated to close at the end of March after nearly seven decades in business, according to owner Pan Pacific Retail Management.

Pan Pacific said it will be replaced with Hawaii’s first Tokyo Central, an Asian specialty market with a wide variety of imported Japanese grocery products, including snacks, beverages, ice cream, liquor, toys, housewares and beauty care products.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to fill a void that hasn’t been in the community for a little while now,” said Tad Fujiwara, Pan Pacific promotion department manager, referring to the closure of Don Quijote in 2011.

PPRM USA currently operates seven Tokyo Central locations in California, three Don Quijote stores, and four Marukai stores, including one in Hawaii.

Tokyo Central will feature an extensive selection of bentos, sushi, seafood, fresh produce, and Japan-style cuts of meat. It will continue to offer local favorite grocery items like kalua pig, according to Fujiwara, along with grab-and-go snacks, beach supplies, and sought-after gift items.

The pharmacy inside of Times will close under the new format.

Approximately 40 employees will be able to keep their jobs, said Fujiwara, and can stay on to work at Tokyo Central or at other stores under the same company.

The expected opening date of Tokyo Central has not been determined yet.

Times Supermarket opened in Kailua in 1957 — which at the time was its third location.

Albert and Wallace Teruya, the sons of Okinawan immigrants, opened the first Times Supermarket in 1949, which today includes 17 Times locations, 5 Big Save Markets, Shima’s Supermarket and Fujioka’s Wine Times.

In 2017, Times Supermarkets was acquired by Pan Pacific International Holdings Corp., which has 728 retail locations throughout Asia, Hawaii and California.

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