OUR MISSION is to promote the welfare, provide resources, advance the interest and serve as an advocate for the retail industry in business, government and the community.

OUR STORY begins on April 23, 1901 when the Treasurer of the Territory of Hawaii granted a charter to the Merchants Association of Honolulu.  It was the first organized group to represent the retail trade.  Back then there were only a handful of merchants and the common issues were creating a stable monetary system, improving shipping facilities and sanitation and laying of telegraphic cable for a faster communication system.

In 1914, it was apparent that a united business front could achieve greater success.  As a result the Merchants Association of Hawaii merged with another association to form a Retail Board. This board operated independently with its own elected officers, structure, and By-Laws.

In 1994 the Retail Merchants of Hawaii became an independent 501(c)(6) Non Profit Trade organization whose focus continues to be on addressing the concerns, welfare and needs of the retail industry in government, business and the community.

The original RMH Board of Directors in 1994 were Carol Ai May of City Mill; Glenn Hirata of T&C Surf Designs Hawaii; Paul Kosasa of ABC Stores, Jeff Kramer of Kramer’s and Randy Yeager of Honolulu Cookie Company. 

TODAY RETAIL IN HAWAII encompasses 1 in every 4 jobs in Hawaii.  Last year alone 205,207 jobs are supported by retail in the state of Hawaii in 18,439 retail establishments and $1.3 Billion is collected in General Excise Tax.