ABC Stories, Oahu
If you stay in the beach area of Waikiki, you will think Oahu must be dense with ABC stores, but really, maybe 25 out of 30 of the ABC stores on the island are within the hotel filled beach area of Waikiki. That means in that area you are usually never more than a block from an ABC store, and in any one spot you are within a block or two of maybe 5 of them. They are designed to cater to the needs of the short stay tourists who flock to the hotels that are densely located in that area.
What that area lacks is a real grocery store in any walkable distance, so these stores are the go to for all kinds of items you would normally go to a grocery or drug store for. They are a lot like a 7/11 with the addition of a lot of beach items, souvenirs and island themed gifts.
Some of them are bigger than others, but all have similar items. We were in Waikiki for a total of two months while my husband worked there on a temporary assignment and had a smaller ABC next to our hotel. That one was a quick go to for us, but I also shopped at several others that were larger and within two blocks of our hotel.
Like other convenience stores the hours are good, 6:30 am to 1:00 am
What to buy: My number one purchase at ABC was their $.99 two liter bottled water. The water in our hotel didn't have a good flavor, and it was sometimes really hot, so I went through a lot of water, one or two of the two liter bottles a day. We also shopped at Safeway and Times Market, but this was the cheapest option for water. A bonus was that it was chilled in the cooler, so I could have cold water immediately.
For food, I got their fresh pineapple, Asian salad, and other lunch selections from the cold food cooler. I also got yogurt, milk nuts, and they carry a wonderful island granola and a good selection of snack foods. They don't have hot food or fountain drinks, but I liked their cold prepared food.
This is a good spot for beach mats and chairs, cheap shell leis, beach towels and blow up floaties, boogie boards, thong sandals, and suntan lotion. There is some beach wear and a lot of boxed gifts to take home. They also have basic drug store items, diapers and wipes and that sort of thing.
What to pay: Except for the water, the prices of most things are somewhat higher than you would pay at a grocery store, and quite a bit higher than Walmart, but prices aren't outrageous, they are normal convenience store prices.
You can find ABC Stores throughout the Hawaiian Islands and quite honestly its a good place to find all those things Hawaiian. They have a nice selection of t-shirts, towels, shorts, jewelry, mugs, picture frames, tote bags, hats and caps, flip-flops, beach items like sun lotion and sun block, toiletries, food, water, drinks, and a host of other misc. items.
If you forgot your sunblock or any other toiletry, no worries, you can pick it up here. You can also find some really great gifts for those back home. I love buying the Kona coffee, macadamia nuts, scented lotions and candles, towels and of course t-***s for my grandchildren.
What to buy: I have purchased everyting from towels to picture frames to t-shirts for my Leo, cute little dresses for Bella, a pair of swim trunks for my sweetie, water, sun tan lotion, goodies like macadamia nuts, coffee, a mug and a beach bag as well as a beach cooler.
What to pay: Prices are pretty reasonable.
ABC Stores are located all over Oahu. You can't walk down a block without hitting a store or several stores. The stores range from small shops to large department sized stores. Everything you could want to buy are in these stores: food items, alcohol, souvenirs, clothing, makeup, toiletries, sun block, beach towels, candy, picture frames, beach coolers, hats and more. The prices here are very affordable so it is the perfect place to pick up some cheap souvenirs for the people back home.
During our most recent trip, Liz and I hit several of the ABC stores for souvenir items. We found some Tee Shirts for ourselves; a few beach ones for me and a Hello Kitty for my wife (she is a huge Hello Kitty fan). We bought some Kona coffee for my Mother-in-law and a tee for our friend who was watching our kitty. We also bought some cute Plumeria necklaces for my nieces. At one location they had two very cute beach dresses (2 for $30) which made for nice coverups for Liz at the beach.
We always save our receipts. Depending on how much you spend you receive a free gift. At the end of our trip we handed in all of our receipts and got a free beach bag which came in handy for lugging our souvenirs back home on the plane.
**ABC is definitely a bargain store. No items will "break the bank" or budget. It's also a great place to buy the souvenirs for the people back home without spending a fortune.**
What to buy: We've bought so much from ABC during our trip. Beach bag, towels, tee shirts, hats, hair accessories, sun dresses, sunblock, snacks, coffee.... and all very reasonably priced.
What to pay: Very inexpensive
Island Favorites is another form of ABC stores (didn't know it until I saw the receipt and it said ABC on it). They sell the same merchandise as ABC and for similar prices. They have clothing, children's items, coffee, food, coffee, swimwear, beach towels, toys, tolietries, souvenirs, gifts etc...all for reasonable prices. They are not as abundantant in locations as ABC stores(in name) but we sure ran into enough of them.
The prices here are very cheap so it is possible to get all you souvenirs for back home at these store and not break the bank.
What to buy: I purchased a few tee shirts here as well as another Hello Kitty Tee shirt for my wife. She can never have too much Hello Kitty...
What to pay: The tee shirts were $9.99 and her shirt was $7.99.
ABC stores were everywhere in Hawaii but in Waikiki were one in every corner!! They were very helpful for us because we had our supplies every day, from fresh fruits to sunscreens, and sometimes we had to take a coffee to go, it had nice flavour and the cost was $0.93!
They also have a nice collection of souvenirs in good prices. They told us to keep all our receipts and gave us a card so when the last day we gave them back we rewarded with some gifts (mugs, bags, diaries etc) depending on how much we had already spend (in any ABC, it doesn’t have to be the same one).
We were frequent visitors to the ABC stores scattered about Waikiki and Honolulu. It seemed that each day we were needing to replace, refill or purchase something we lacked in order to continue our day's travels.
These handy stores are located just about every few blocks--no exaggeration! They are terrific places to purchase Mauna Loa chocolates or gourmet coffees to take back home as souvenirs!
A new supply of sunblock, neosporin ointment to handle the slash our grandson received at the beach, bandaids to bring blisters under control, bottled water and snacks for downtime and the plane flight back to Texas all were supplied by the ABC Store. We loved the convenience of these stores--they're everywhere!
If you are a fan of this wonderful caffeinated beverage, you cannot leave Hawaii without picking up a couple bags of Kona or Kona blend coffee. Kona is known by coffee enthusiasts as being one of the most enjoyed and sought-after brews in the world, and it's price once you leave the islands is proof of that.
What to buy: Various stores around the islands sell Kona blends (10% Kona) but I found that local coffee shops sell 100% Kona beans at a steal.
What to pay: Kona blend runs about $5-$8 a pound while 100% Kona can be found ranging from $20 to $75 a pound depending on the quality. I bought a bag of $20 100% Kona and it's delicious. These prices are about half the cost of what I've found on the US mainland.
Lots of people have recommended me this place, but I found it a real tourist trap.
Yes, there are all the major brand names, but I didn’t notice that the prices were any different from regular shopping malls. After checking out almost every store in this place, the only bargain I found was at the Sckechers outlet, I needed new sneakers and this is the only brand I usually go by, so I did save about $20.
So, I guess if you’re patient enough you may come across some good deal, but in general it’s just another gigantic shopping area.
If you happen to find a street corner without an ABC store, please let them know, they’ll open one in no time. A(ll) B(locks) C(overed) is Hawaii’s no’ 1 drug store, where you find everything from shoe laces to snacks and clothing. First I tried to avoid these stores, but there I realized that it’s impossible. When I needed repellent before going on a hike ABC became handy. The same happened when I was thirsty, when I remembered that there are still some souvenirs I forgot to buy, when I needed my contacts’ solution, and when I needed the only airlines’ security allowed 3oz. mouth wash, for my upcoming 32-hour trip home.
As much as all the blocks are covered, your groceries’ list will be covered too. And don’t bother to look for one, it will find you :)
One of my favorite places to haunt while in the islands is the ABC stores of Hawaii.
The stores can be found just about every corner depending on what town you are in. On Oahu, there are several per block, hence the "All Blocks Covered" reference.
ABC stores are like 7-11's, Circle K's, Turkey Hill's, and Wa Wa's, as they carry various snacks, sodas, water and juices.
They also carry sundry items such as sunscreen, film, sand mats, and first aid supplies.
But what I really like about the ABC stores is the wide assortment of gifts and souvenirs at very low prices.
What to buy: Pareaus (Pareos). These can be long or short pieces of fabric which can be worn as a skirt, a dress, or as a swimsuit cover up. They come in various colors and patterns. At the ABC stores you can sometimes find them for as low as five dollars apiece.
Coconut syrup. I bring back at least four bottles for pancakes, waffles, and French toast.
Coffee. ABC stores carry bags and bags of Hawaiian coffee. One of our personal favorites is "Lion Brand" the cup that roars.
Purple Gum. Choward's Scented Gum. This is an acquired taste. You either love it or you hate it. It is violet scented gum.
Aloe Vera Gel. This is great for sunburns and wind chapped skin.
Milk, bread, ice cream, alcohol, fruit, yogurt and prepackages sandwiches are in abundance at the ABC store.
Remeber, you can bring the islands home, log on to their website.
What to pay: Pareau's go for as little as $5.00 and you won't find better prices unless of course you go to Wal-Mart. Wal-mart?? In paradise??
Definately one of the things you'll notice during your stay in Waikiki are ABC Stores. These stores are literally everywhere. Don't be suprised to see 2, even 3, on the same block.
What to buy: They sell a little bit of everything: food, souvenirs, beach equipment, etc.
What to pay: They can be a little on the pricey side.
When you're looking for 100% Kona to take home, look for sales at place like Long's Drug and the supermarket. You might need to sign up for one of those discount cards so annoyingly prevalent at American grocery/drug stores.