We Surveyed 64 Retailers About Their Challenges and Successes

BOSS Survey shows retail companies are optimistic despite escalating worries about rent, online competition and finding workers.
08 22 Heroes 1800x1200 Feature Boss 3

Here are the survey results from 64 companies that get most of their revenue from retail sales. The BOSS Survey has asked most of these questions for a decade; in many cases, the percentage results this time set several records.

08 22 Feature Boss 3 1The BOSS Performance Index measures changes in employment, gross revenue and profit before taxes at the surveyed companies in the past year. Retail companies were more likely to have hired more people in the past year than the typical company surveyed. But retailers’ results on revenue and profit were weaker than that of other companies surveyed.

08 22 Feature Boss 3 2The BOSS Optimism Index measures business leaders’ expectations about the local economy over the coming year: Will the economy improve, stay the same or worsen? Expectations of the future help guide business decisions in the present. Despite a rough two years, retailers were as optimistic about the near future of Hawai‘i’s economy as the typical Hawai‘i business owner or executive.


Compare Your Holiday Sales in 2019 to Sales in 2021

For many retailers, the holiday season is the most important time of each year. In this survey, 42% said holiday sales were down in 2021, the largest proportion recorded in more than a decade of similar survey questions.

08 22 Feature Boss 3 3

*dnk: Did not know or did not answer


What Are Your Major Concerns?

The percentage citing competition from online retailers was the highest ever recorded in the BOSS Survey: 55% of retailers on O‘ahu mentioned that, but only 30% of Neighbor Island retailers.

08 22 Feature Boss 3 4

Retailers could choose as many as apply.


How Have You Changed Since the Start of the Pandemic?
08 22 Feature Boss 3 5

Retailers could select as many as apply.


Did Your Number of Customers Go Up or Down?

Another BOSS record: 38% of the retailers reported fewer customers in the past year – the largest percentage that responded that way ever.

08 22 Feature Boss 3 6


Do You Sell Online?

66% of business have a website that sells to consumers. That’s the highest proportion of retailers ever in the BOSS Survey. In fact, 9% of the retailers surveyed were online only, with no brick-and-mortar store.


What is the Customer Mix on Your Website?

The results are a composite, but note the small sample size: 42 retailers.08 22 Feature Boss 3 7


These same retailers were asked what impact internet sales had on their companies.08 22 Feature Boss 3 8



Categories: BOSS Survey, Trends