Safeway Beretania in Honolulu, Hawaii

Safeway Beretania, originally uploaded by macprohawaii.
This store was recently in the national news after a couple accidentally walked out without paying for their $5 sandwiches one night. They had paid for their groceries, all $50 worth but forgot to wave the sandwich wrappers at checkout. The lady who is several months pregnant and her spouse ate the sandwiches in store.

Both along with their toddler aged daughter were detained by store security and arrested for shoplifting. As part of the police department’s standard procedure, their daughter was taken into custody by child protective services after the adults were booked and arrested.

After posting bail some 18 hours later the parents were reunited with their child.

The story made national headlines because the store manager could have simply allowed them to pay for the forgotten sandwiches which they really wanted to do after being stopped in the parking lot. The people simply forgot and did not want to steal the sandwiches. Workers in the store had seen them eat the sandwiches and placed the wrapper in the shopping cart. They simply forgot to get the wrapper waved at check-out.

Anyway, local media picked up the story and before Safeway knew it this incident became news nationwide, much to the embarrassment of the supermarket chain. Public sentiment was definitely with the young family and pregnant mother. Safeway was looked upon and probably still is from now on “the bad guy”.

After the bad publicity, Safeway decided to drop the charges.

Bottom line, pay for everything or you could lose your freedom and your children! Yikes!!!!!


The reason I also took photos of this store is that in a few months it will be closed with Safeway moving to a new location on Beretania Street just a block away (see adjacent photo below).

Safeway Beretania Sign

The old Safeway sign will probably be taken down after the store changes location.

New Safeway Beretania Store

The new Safeway location now under construction and near completion at the corner of Beretania and Piikoi Streets. Looks quite big. I hope they have enough parking.

Generally I don’t shop at Safeway. I find their prices to be the most expensive for most grocery items in Honolulu. I certainly however will check the new store out after it’s opened. If they follow the themes of recently constructed stores in Hawaii (Kapahulu and Hilo), Safeway will feature a coffee shop area with free wifi. That is an attraction.


Melvin Ah Ching is a photographer, consultant, blogger, desktop publisher, and computer enthusiast living and working in Hawaii. The Hawaii Files have been online since 2006.