The Finest in Wood Flooring
Pacific Imports International (PII) is recognized by many local homeowners as the go-to source for quality wood flooring in Hawaii. Starting up more than a decade ago in the airport-industrial area, strictly as a wholesaler, this kamaaina family-owned business decided to shed its dusty warehouse marketing genre a few years ago and relocate to the Kalihi home improvement corridor. Located on Kohou Street along the Kapalama Canal, the current location houses both the company’s large distribution warehouse and a 3,000-square-foot air conditioned showroom.
“It was just awful sometimes!” laughs owner and president Shirley Pai Hilton, recalling customers and herself perspiring and getting grimy in the old warehouse setting, standing around and trying to make a rational decision about what color of wood flooring to get. “It also took a lot of imagination to visualize the little sample board that was hanging 12 feet up on the wall, on a larger scale and horizontal,” says Hilton. She was working for the old owners as general manager at the time, and more than five years ago, she and her family officially purchased the company. Her main goal was to make Pacific Imports the best wood-flooring company in Hawaii, and that included making the viewing and purchasing experience a more pleasurable one.
Things have gone well beyond that initial hope of air conditioned comfort!
Besides being able to see a large flooring sample on the ground, customers can sit down and relax with their sales associate to discuss options. They also can take home swatches and check out sample boards to view at home. Customers are welcome to take photographs of floors and help themselves to printed product and installation information.
Shortly after moving to their showroom, Hilton also initiated the Wood and Stone Flooring 101 seminars, which now boast hundreds of graduates! “I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to have the customers come up to me after the seminar and heartily shake my hand to tell me how much they enjoyed the presentation,” she says. Hilton was hesitant about the seminars at first, not wanting them to be perceived as a big sales pitch, and not wanting to waste anyone’s precious Saturday morning. Happily, the seminars have turned out to be the cornerstone of PII’s exceptional customer service, backed by its knowledgeable and friendly sales and warehouse staff.
But at the heart of Pacific Imports’ business is its high-quality wood flooring products. A direct importer from day one, Pacific Imports is one of the few Hawaii flooring companies that actually has employees overseas. This is a key advantage for the customer when shopping around for a new wood floor. Many Honolulu retailers are buying their flooring from a distributor, such as Pacific Imports, and the middleman is reflected in their pricing. “The only people here that have to make money (are) us and the factory, and if you stop to compare quality and price, you will see what a phenomenal value we offer by being factory-direct,” Hilton adds.
The Kahala Floors brand of engineered wood flooring has especially been an overwhelming success for Pacific Imports since its introduction in 2007. Consisting of a top-wear layer of wood mounted onto a plywood base for stability, this lifetime product can be sanded and refinished several times over, making it a lifetime product. Hilton says that engineered wood flooring has been “the product of choice” for quite some time now and sees no end to it, noting that this is not a style trend but a permanent innovation.
“I personally developed the Kahala Floors product line because I saw a need in Hawaii for a high-quality engineered wood floor that is made especially for our unique climate, lifestyle and decorating style,” says Hilton. She believes it would be a challenge to find anything of higher quality for a better price in Hawaii.
Hilton would like to personally invite everyone to visit the company’s showroom soon, or even attend their next Wood and Stone Flooring 101 seminar on Saturday, April 21 at 10:30 a.m. Whether you are considering a new floor or just enjoy learning, the seminar will offer a wealth of valuable information on product choices and installation. Call 847-7711 to reserve a seat.
ADDRESS: 926 KOHOU ST.