Media Room

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City Mill embodies the value of perseverance, hard work

Star Advertiser – March 2012

Chung Kun Ai, the founder of City Mill, came to Hawaii with his father in 1879. The 14-year-old went to Iolani College for two years — the only formal education he would receive… read more

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City Mill raises over $20k for Special Olympics of Hawaii

City Mill Corporate Headquarters – March 2012

City Mill presented a check to Special Olympics of Hawaii with a total of $20,850.41 raised for 2012 throughout City Mill’s eight neighborhood locations… read more

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A few remnants of Hawaii endure 100 years later

Star Advertiser – January 2012

In 2012 you can make a deposit at Bank of Hawaii, buy bread from Love’s Bakery or a bicycle at Eki Cyclery. You can shop at C.S. Wo or City Mill. One hundred years ago, in 1912, you could have made a deposit at Bank of Hawaii, bought bread from Love’s Bakery or a bicycle at Eki Cyclery. You could have shopped at C.S. Wo or City Mill… read more

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City Mill will open store at new Ewa Beach center

Star Advertiser – January 2012

A 113-year-old Hawaii-based company is expanding with the announcement of its ninth store on Oahu, to be built in Ewa Beach in the new Laulani Village Shopping Center. “This has been on the drawing board forever,” said City Mill Vice President Carol Ai May of the Ewa Beach expansion… read more

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Old Friends: Carol Ai May and Steven Ai

Midweek – August 2010

When it comes to home-improvement projects, repairs and maintenance, City Mill has remained a Hawaii household name since 1899, and today the Ai family continues to uphold the family business under the management of company president and chief executive officer Steven Ai and his sister Carol Ai May, who serves as vice president and marketing manager… read more

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Steven Ai and Carol Ai May of City Mill Named Joint Recipients of Salesperson of the Year

Sales & Marketing Executives International – February 2010

Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI), Honolulu Chapter, has named Steven Ai, President and Chief Executive Officer of City Mill Co., Ltd., and Carol Ai May, Vice President and Marketing Manager, also of City Mill Co., Ltd., as joint award recipients of “Salesperson of the Year” for 2009. They will be honored at SMEI’s annual luncheon at the Sheraton Waikiki on April 6, 2010… read more

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Shirtsleeves to Sibling Success

Pacific Edge Magazine – January 2010

Time and again, brother and sister team Steven Ai and Carol Ai May of City Mill will tell you how one of their father’s sayings has forever haunted – and motive – them: “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.”. In other words, the first generation of a family pours its blood, sweat and tears into creating a business. The next generation works hard to build it, and the third, lacking the necessary work ethic is, well, apt to destroy it… read more

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Kama’aina Companies – Local Souls: City Mill

Star Bulletin – October 2009

Hawaii’s retail market is a unique mix of mainland and local chains, mom-and-pop shops and even an historic Japanese department store. Island shoppers have embraced stores such as Longs and Shirokiya as their own despite getting established far from Hawaii. Some local mom-and-pop stores, meanwhile, grew into statewide chains through the decades… read more

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City Mill blends family, professionalism*

Star Bulletin – April 2008

Like most fine print, the tiny black lettering etched on Steven Ai’s bright yellow name tag is often overlooked. His title may be the only thing that sets him apart as he whisks through the aisles of the Honolulu City Mill store, stopping to help a customer casually perusing plastic storage containers last week… read more

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City Mill branches out into new retail venture*

Star Bulletin – April 2008

The owners of City Mill Co. Ltd. are launching a new retail venture that will be the anchor tenant of a shopping center being built in Kapolei… read more

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Sadao Goya Awarded “Retail Employee of the Year”

Retail Merchants of Hawaii – October 2006

Often seen as an island of tranquility in a hectic, fast-paced sales environment, Sadao Goya, a full-time sales associate at City Mill’s Kaimuki location, is one of the company’s most beloved employees… read more

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Charlie Nakama, Pearl City Store Manager Honored 2006 Young Retailer of the Year

Hardware Retailing Magazine – Aug. 2006

Charlie Nakama is one of those leaders who worked his way up through the ranks of the company. After starting out as a part-time employee in the lumberyard, he is now a manager at City Mill’s store in Pearl City, Hawaii… read more

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Always in the Neighborhood

Hawaii Woman Magazine – February 2005

My father always insisted, much to my mother’s dismay, that any home improvement job or repair work needed for our plantation era Waipahu home could be done with his own hands… read more

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City Mill’s Mr. Fixit

MidWeek cover story – December 22, 2004

Frank Suster, who has worked at City Mill for 36 years, is legendary for his ability to fix or make anything – including holiday decorations for his yard that take three days to set up. He also makes ukuleles, writes songs and does a good elvis… read more

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City Mill Receives HPA’s 2004 Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award*

Hawaii Psychological Association – November, 2004

How did City Mill go from being nearly “uninsurable” in 1992 to having stores exceeding 1200 days without a Workers Comp injury? Start with a Safety Manager and a series of rewards for team members whose stores go accident and injury free for 300 days or more… read more

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Retailers Honor City Mill Siblings

Honolulu Advertiser – October 23, 2004

The brother and sister running City Mill Home Improvement Centers as a team were named retailers of the year yesterday by Retail Merchants of Hawaii. As third-generation siblings of the Ai family operating the family business established in 1899, Steven Ai and Carol Ai May in the 1990s… read more

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Retail Merchants award winners chosen

Pacific Business News – October 22, 2004

The Retail Merchants of Hawaii held its 2004 conference and Hookela awards Friday at the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s Coral Ballroom… read more

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Geckos in Paradise July

October 2004

CITY MILL is proud to announce its participation in “Geckos in Paradise”, Hawaii’s first ever community outdoor art exhibition and charity fundraising event, which is to take place during October, in recognition of National Breast Cancer awareness month… read more

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Precious and Few: 7 Customer Service Gems

Hawaii Business Magazine – June 2004

Like the perfect diamond, superior customer service is a rare find. Likewise, no two companies are alike when it comes to delivering great service. Every business, large or small, has its own signature approach to delivering service that wows… read more

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City Mill: Best in Business, Over $10 Million

Pacific Business News – November 2003

City Mill Co. started as a rice and lumber mill, got into shipping, pineapple and tobacco, and then became a hardware store. Now the store is reincarnating itself as a lifestyle store — a place to shop when repairing or remodeling… read more

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Rolling with the Punches

Hawaii Business Magazine – August 2003

City Mill is no stranger to overcoming hardship. It’s been doing it for decades. In 1900, eight months after City Mill (then a lumber-importing and rice-milling business) was founded… read more