Hilo Hattie is a great place for tourists to buy souveniers and gifts from candles to clothing.
It is a place that you can shop everything that represent Hawaii within a few hours. (o f course, for tourists only). normally, locals don't really shop from Hilo Hattie except they want to get something nice for thier friends that come visit Hawaii... ( that's just my opinion).
I'm not local either.. Actually, i'm a foreign student who live here a few years. but i really feel that Hilo Hattie is for tourists. I'm sure that you can find something similar to what Hilo Hattie has for cheaper price in hawaii.. It's just convenience for tourists that want to go to one place and get things that they all want in one time.
However, i still shop over there sometimes , but not for myself. I bought some souveniers for my friends in my home country. For me, Hilo Hattie is a good brand to represent a good hawaiian souveniers for my friends and family.
Overall, i like thier customer services though ( ex: free shuttle, welcome "Aloha" drink, shell lei, and so on.) but, i think it's kind of expensive in certain items.
Good place for tourists, but maybe not for locals!