Why pay $20 for a single souvenir T-shirt in Waikiki when, for the same price, you can get eight shirts? You’re thinking, “In Hawaii? No way.”
If you’re in Honolulu, yes, way.
The deals are worth the drive to the T-Shirt Store (1409 Colburn St.), which is in a commercial district that’s about a 15-minute drive from the usual tourist haunts.
The store is inside a warehouse teeming with shirts and handwritten cardboard signs, by looks a far cry from the beachfront resorts. But with 80,000 T-shirts in stock in every imaginable size, the T-Shirt Store is a souvenir hunter’s mecca.
Owners Thomas and Sophia Wong cater primarily to Honolulu residents who don’t want to fight the crowds and traffic along Kalakaua Avenue and spend $20 or more for a shirt.
“We want to provide a good service to the local people so they can get shirts at a reasonable price,” Thomas told me. “We buy in large quantity, so the price is lower.”
Shirts bearing a multitude of island-themed prints are eight for $20. You can expect to pay a bit more for plus sizes. The Wongs also stock a limited selection of Hawaii-style shirts that are locally made.
The husband and wife from Hong Kong usually work seven days a week. The store is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. It is closed Christmas and New Year’s.
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