Shopping during bomb scare: Walmart apologizes to the people of Hawaii


While many businesses in Hawaii welcomed tourists and residents during Saturday’s ballistic attack warning and offered them refuge, others did not. The devastating emergency alert seen by everyone in Hawaii said to take immediate shelter.

There were several reports of businesses forcing customers out of stores and locking their doors, putting those outside in harm’s way.Among them were a number of Walmart stores in Hawaii.

eTN Chatroom: Discuss with readers from around the world:

Walmart gives back to every community in which it serves – it’s a promise prominently printed on the Walmart website. Giving back on Saturday may have actually saved lives.

eTN reached out to Walmart and Delia Garcia Senior Director of Communications said:

“We can’t imagine the panic, chaos and fear that Hawaii residents, including our associates and customers, experienced during the false emergency alert last week. Our store and club associates are trained to respond to a broad range of emergency situations and, despite the unprecedented nature of this alert, their quick response helped many people find immediate shelter inside our buildings. We understand that in the confusion some associates may have misunderstood the direction and evacuated customers rather than sheltering in place. For this, we apologize. As a result of this unusual occurrence, we will review our emergency response training with associates and reinforce proper procedures to help ensure all of our associates are prepared for any similar situations in the future.”

eTN also reached out to 24-hour fitness. The sports member club also had forced people out of the facility during the call to take shelter. A manager at the Kapiolani sports member club in Honolulu slammed the phone on our reporter who has been a member of the club for 20 years himself.

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.