Cheapo to Go
Cheapo, One of Honolulu’s more visible spots to score some used CDs, books, and other odd knicknacks, is closing its doors for good tomorrow. It’s “clearance sale” will save you 25 percent on new CDs, and an unbeatable 75 percent on used CDs. A used Blondie disc that might have cost you $7 now costs just over a $1. That’s a steal, even versus iTunes.
I zipped over there over lunch, and joined the hoards rifling through the CD bins. The clack of the plastic cases as shoppers flipped through them made the shop sound like some mechanical widget factory. Customers and employees readily and regularly embraced.
I escaped with a tall stack of CDs for a mere $10. I grabbed what little Hawaiian I could find, some Shawn Colvin, and some stuff I’m too embarassed to name… but c’mon, it was just too cheap!
The birth of Cheapo’s was an awkward one. Cheapo, a mainland chain, bought Jelly’s in the wake of the Radio Free Hawaii era, but kept the name. At least until the old owner wanted the name back, at which point Cheapo’s Jelly’s stores became Cheapo.
Cheapo ran into financial trouble last year, however, as the music retail industry as a whole seriously sagged. Once operating in three locations, the Puck’s Alley shop on University Avenue was the last one standing.