• Indy Domino's franchisee to purchase 18 Hawaii stores

A mainland Domino's Pizza franchisee is purchasing 18 of 20 Domino's stores on Oahu and Maui. The deal is scheduled to be completed by March 11.

According to a report published in the Honolulu Star-Tribune, the Domino's Hawaii franchise had been owned and operated by Higa Industries of Hawaii since 1992. Ernest Higa, president of the company, is a franchisee of more than 200 Domino's stores in Japan.

Mike Schlater, owner of Indianapolis-based Lili-Co., owns 107 Domino's Stores in the U.S. and 18 in Canada.

"It's been time consuming for (Higa) in Japan, so that's how the opportunity here became available," Schlater said.

Tim McIntyre, vice president of corporate communications for Domino's, said Higa's sale also will allow him to concentrate solely on the growing and competitive Japanese market.

The two other Domino's stores in Hawaii are owned under a separate sub-franchise, and are not part of the deal.

All 344 employees employed at the 18 stores will be terminated with Higa's sale, and then rehired by the new management.

Schlater, who plans to add as many as 15 more stores throughout Hawaii, wants to offer partnerships to employees working within the Domino's system there.

"It gives people the chance to get into the ownership system," he said.

Within the next two years, Schlater plans to acquire 250 Domino's stores in the U.S.

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