High winds spread the wildfires that devastated the port town of Lahaina in Maui, Hawaii, taking the lives of scores of people, countless animals and wiping out hundreds of homes, businesses and vehicles.
Stores that lined Front Street, the main shopping district in Lahaina, including those in the Outlets of Maui shopping center as well as many locally owned shops were burned down.
Gap Inc. operates both Banana Republic and Gap factory outlets in the center. “All 66 employees on Maui have been safely accounted for,” a spokesman told WWD. As of press time, the status of the two outlets was not known.
Gap Inc. has a program called “The Selvage Fund” to provide financial assistance to employees impacted by this disaster and others. The fund, named after the tightly woven edge of a fabric that prevents it from unraveling or fraying, provides cash grants to qualifying Gap Inc. employees in the U.S. and Canada who have been employed by the company for at least six months and need financial support due to an IRS qualifying disaster.
There is also a Louis Vuitton store in Lahaina but no information on the status of that store was available as of presstime.
The center is also home to a Tommy Bahama store and it’s Marlin Bar. Doug Wood, chief executive officer of Tommy Bahama, sent a note to his staff of 65 in Maui about the loss of the Marlin Bar and store, which was approximately 8,000 square feet and opened in January 2021. “The news from Maui and especially Lahaina town has been devastating,” his note read. “Our hearts go out to the families who have lost someone. To all that have lost their homes and belongings. To the people of Hawaii who have lost a significant part of their history. Like so many, Maui holds a special place in the hearts of the employees and guests of Tommy Bahama. We are thankful that we have been able to contact many of employees in the area and have ensured that everyone is safe.” The company is sending large shipments of apparel for those who lost their homes and is feeding displaced associates and their families at its Wailea restaurant, which was not impacted by the fires.
Crocs, which also lost its store in the outlet center, issued a statement saying it was offering housing assistance and necessary support to impacted employees. The company is also providing shoes and donating to the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund.
Skechers, too, lost its store in the center and will donate $250,000 to the Maui Strong Fund along with approximately 5,000 pairs of shoes, backpacks and socks for now and possibly 20,000 later.
“We have been connected to the people of Hawaii since our first Skechers store opened on the islands in 1998, and in Maui when we opened our store in Lahaina,” said Michael Greenberg, Skechers president. “I have walked Front Street and shopped and dined at many great establishments, just as many have in the Skechers family. As a company and as individuals, we want to help those we know, and those whom we know are deeply affected. We are committed to supporting these communities in this difficult time, and so this beautiful town can be rebuilt to its historic brilliance. Our focus now is to do what we can with the goods and means we have to aid the people of Hawaii in their recovery and to make Maui strong again.”
Adidas in the center was also destroyed, a spokesperson confirmed. The center, which sources said was totally lost, also had outlets for Calvin Klein, Coach, Kate Spade, Hurley, Michael Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren and many local shops.
A Calvin Klein spokesperson said: “We are heartbroken by the devastation caused by wildfires in Lahaina, Hawaii, and are saddened to confirm that our Calvin Klein store has been destroyed. Our associates remain our number-one concern and we are thankful they are all safe and accounted for. We are working around the clock to ensure they have the support and resources they need including shelter, food, clothing and access to funds.”
The developer of the center did not respond to inquiries Monday.
Historic sites were also ruined including a famous 150-year-old Banyan tree, over 60 feet tall, that may or may not survive.