Of course, the first thing I had to do was get some sunscreen. The TSA took my bottle of sunscreen before boarding the airplane. So after the plane landed and I unpacked my stuff at the hotel, I went outside to look around. I was going to look for a convenience store like a 7-Eleven where I can by a water bottle and some sunscreen, but what I did notice was a bunch of these ABC Stores. They were everywhere. There was almost one on every block, and sometimes there were two. I did happen to find one 7-Eleven, but everything else was one of these ABC stores.
I found the nearest one and walked inside. It was pretty nice inside. It was like a combination of a convenience store, a liquor store, a souvenir shop, and a deli all mixed into one. They sold t-shirts, refrigerator magnets, liquor, toiletries, and snacks. Of course everything was expensive and overpriced. I was in a tourist area so I paid the inflated price of $12 for a bottle of sunscreen, which wasn’t too bad, I guess.
I began to wonder, why are there so many ABC Stores in Waikiki? How did they get a monopoly on the whole area? What I later learned from talking to some of the locals was that ABC stores have a non-competition agreement with the property owners of the area. When they signed their lease they put a clause in the contract that says the property owner cannot rent space to any other businesses of the same type. This means that when an ABC store opens in a location, no other convenience store can open in the same building or lot. By moving in first they have a monopoly on the whole area.