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State resolution seeks ban on ‘predatory’ cosmetics stores in Lahaina

By Staff | Apr 11, 2019

HONOLULU – The State House Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce last week recommended passage of a resolution urging Maui County to immediately ban “predatory” cosmetics stores from doing business in Lahaina.

House Resolution 78 and House Concurrent Resolution 80 were introduced by Rep. Angus L.K. McKelvey (West Maui, Maalaea, North Kihei) of Lahaina.

He said the legislation seeks to address complaints by residents and visitors about the stores’ aggressive sales techniques, as well as cosmetics vendors’ violations of the settlement agreement with Maui County regarding their sales practices.

Lahaina resident Lori Fisher testified, “I support banning predatory cosmetic stores from doing business in Lahaina. I walk up and down Front Street at least once (and often more) per day, and am accosted EACH AND EVERY time by these people making remarks about my clothing or my hair, shoving their products into my hands, pestering me to stop. You would think after months and months (now becoming years) of seeing the same person they would leave me alone – but they do not. I see visitors to Maui crossing the street to try to avoid them. No one likes their intimidating and annoying behavior. It is harassment. Please make them go away!”

According to the resolution, numerous cosmetics stores on Front Street engage in marketing techniques that are considered disrespectful, inconsiderate and aggressive in nature – creating an intimidating atmosphere for visitors – and employees “engage in unscrupulous behavior in the production of their products and in the aggressive application of their products to unsuspecting visitors.”

The resolution states “… the people of Lahaina have repeatedly demanded action by the government to address these predatory cosmetics stores…”

Via the resolution, the state may urge the county to take action. Under the Hawaii State Constitution, counties have the authority to regulate business uses in a particular area via zoning powers.