In a small community, like that on an island, everybody is connected. There is a web of connections linking person to person. The music community is a very tightly woven group, especially on Kauai.
A active musician walks through our doors. Right away, everybody is talking story, catching up, and talking about the local gigs. Local stores know what musicians need. Not just "generic musicians" but their musicians. The musicians in the community and gear specialized for the local community.
Since island music draws the most people during gigs, a music store in Kauai will carry all the specialized gear and instruments for that kind of music. They know what works and what doesn't because they get reports from all of the gigging musicians in the community.
New to Kauai and interested in getting a piano for your home? Talk to a local musician and they can give you the scoop, such as make sure to go digital.
The truth is, you can buy cheap instruments from overseas, but local music stores can provide you with the best knowledge of the community, and what works best for the music environment. You're building a relationship. You have a place to get repairs or specialized rentals.