White’s Supermarket In Warwick Closes Doors

August 11, 2012

[Updated] A Court order was signed this morning [Aug 10] to wind up White & Sons Ltd. The  petition for the winding up was originally filed on June 29th in the Supreme Court by International Bonded Couriers of Bermuda [IBC], following after writs already taken out against the company by Pitt & Company and BGA.

The law firm Wakefield and Quin represented a group of creditors led by IBC who had spearheaded procedures to bring matters to a head, and lawyer Deborah Correia confirmed the order was signed this morning.

In recent weeks the shelves of both supermarkets have been looking very sparse, fueling rumours that the company was facing severe financial difficulties. The company — which has supermarket locations in both Southside and Warwick — has been business since 1924. The supermarket presently employs approximately 85 people.

Update Aug 11: The store in Warwick has been closed, with it understood all the staff have been laid off. Haywards in Warwick and the Southside location remain open and a handful of customers are at both locations.

Read More About

Category: All, Business, News

Comments (87)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Concerned says:

    Question on another grocery store is Belvin’s in Bailey’s Bay – I went in there recently and the shelves were empty – is there going to be renovations or is this tore being taken over by someone else

    • SS says:

      Belvins in Devonshire too, the shelves are bare. The vendors won’t supply …

    • itsnot the FIRST says:

      I believe Belvins is closing down too like whites..

  2. outkasted says:

    First! OMG! No Way!

  3. Maria Darby says:


  4. Talk2mesr8t says:

    Please confirm is it both or just Warwick. Another media source said Warwick only…

    • DWAYNE says:


    • sad times says:


  5. time4change says:

    so unfortunate…….there go another 85 jobs in bda…….the struggle continues to get worse and worse by the day……..

  6. uhh says:

    not to be slow but what does this mean? its going to close down?

    • i care says:

      yes they are all being closed down and there are no buyers

  7. betty Rech says:

    this use to be the best store on the island sad to see it closed

  8. Roshea says:

    It is extremely sad as White’s employs a vast member of BERMUDIANS. What is going to happen to them?

  9. TH says:

    Whites was the worst supermarket on island. Dirty, terrible produce and slow service. I am not surprised.

  10. media says:

    I hear someone is going to take it over… Good news for the employees.

    • Um Um Like says:

      Why would anyone want to? The Warwick stores have a significant amount of competition from Heron Bay Marketplace and Lindo’s, and the store in Southside is too big for the community it serve.

      …not to mention the fact that all of their buildings are falling apart and would likely need to be demolished and rebuilt

      • amen says:

        If Lindo’s takes over the Southside location I guarantee they will do well and utilize the large space.

      • Mayan says:

        @Um Um: I’ve said the exact same thing. I’m sorry that Bermudians have lost their jobs, but people who are using this as an indication of Bermuda’s demise are off base here. I won’t deny that things are tough in Bermuda, but Bermudians are still grocery shopping-just not at White’s. As you mentioned, there are two other major supermarkets in the area and they had better offerings all around than White’s. Lindo’s in Warwick is the best supermarket in Bermuda, in my opinion, and they are always busy-you can’t tell me they aren’t making a killing. Of course the Market Place stores also do well. Between them and Lindo’s, there was no room for White’s in Warwick.

        On the other end of the island, you have Shelly Bay Marketplace that catches a lot of the East Enders heading home. In St. Georges you have Somers, which seems to be doing well. There just didn’t seem to be a big enough need for White’s Southside. Who’d go out of the way to shop there? Therefore, they had to rely mainly on the St. David’s community (many of whom would shop at Shelly Bay as I said) and it clearly wasn’t enough.

        Also, I’ll say it again-I think the service in White’s sucked. Like TH said, the stores looked grungy and their produce sucked. The staff at the Southside store were rude and unfriendly. Also, many a time they would advertise something as being on special but when it was scanned, it came up at regular price. I always had to be extra vigilant not to get ripped off, and combined with the other problems (especially rude staff), I said ‘forget it.’

        I tried to give White’s Southside a chance but gave up. I’ll stick to Lindo’s which has a fantastic selection, everything is fresh and the store is clean-plus they have friendly staff and a family-friendly environment. If you have a complaint, they actually apologize and aim to rectify the problem-they take feedback from the customers extremely seriously. Sorry to see Bermudians out of a job but the competition killed them-not the economy.

    • The nitty gritty says:


  11. SM says:

    It is very sad to hear this. Whites was one of the best stores on the island. So unfortunate for the 85 staff. Awful.

  12. Victor says:

    Thank you Col. Burch and company for sending away all those expats – it’s all coming home to roost and this is just the beginning; wait to the banks have to start writing off delinquent property loans thanks to the lack of rent paying expats. And I know exactly who the Cog and her pals will be blaming for this sorry state of affairs come election time – the very people who made Bermuda prosperous and the fruits of whose efforts she, Ewart and all their cronies have squandered these many years.

    • Douglas says:

      Really! You want to blame this on the Government as well?! Perhaps the Government took the Lindberg baby as well.

      I’m not happy with the Government either, but I’m not going to blame EVERYTHING on them. Have another thought or two mate, you might come up with some other contributions to this supermarket going out of business.

      • missed this... says:

        What’s the lindberg baby story?;

        • Dee Dee says:

          Douglas, you are showing your age with that reference to the Lindberg baby. @ missed this, google it.

          • Douglas says:

            I didn’t think I was that old, I’m only 45. I guess I read too much. I hope my point was taken though!

        • Hard Rock says:

          Lindberg baby? Wow…I’m with you, ‘missed this’. I googled the story and it’s from 1932-the year my great-grandmother was born! Douglas must be reincarnated or something bringing that up…

      • Victor says:

        Really? Yes, absolutely really! Respectfully Douglas, it’s apologists and appeasers like your good self that have allowed these incompetents to destroy a practically recession proof economy these past fifteen years – all we had to do was be respectful of and caring towards those expats who bring in the loot we need to thrive on… If a bunch of white guys and girls had done the same things as this government they would surely have been held to account for ALL their actions. I’m sick and tired of this incompetent, crooked, degenerate government being mollycoddled because they are “ours” – especially when in fact they don’t give a damn about anyone but themselves and staying put.

    • swing voter says:

      Man yur really streatching it. Are you saying that the failure of Whites owners is due to 6000 expats leaving the island….don’t be silly. There are some businesses that will survive no matter the state of the economy. Yeah, the Government is responsible for bad policy which led to 6000 expats leaving, but there is still over 60,000 people on island that have to eat.

      • Do the math... says:

        If there are 10 stores supporting 60,000 people, and you get rid of 1/10 of the people, then those remaining people can only support 9 stores.

        • Mayan says:

          That’s a ridiculous equation-it is nowhere as simple or basic as that. Those 6k people could all have been MarketPlace shoppers or Lindo’s shoppers for all you know. Not one single one of them may have supported White’s,thus making your point totally moot. Some supermarkets pull in way bigger profits than others-it isn’t spread evenly across the board with every store getting an equal cut of the population’s business. So when expats leave, it may mean lesser profits going into certain store’s coffers, but it doesn’t mean it will cause supermarkets to shut down. You’re making generalizations that have no basis in fact.

          • Mayan says:

            Oh-and as someone just reminded me, there are other reasons businesses shut down besides lack of customers. The management could have made bad investments and lost a ton there, for example.

            I have a relative who worked for British American Insurance Co. which got wound up three years ago (or are still being wound up-whatever)…they got in trouble because the parent company invested and lost a ton in the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis and not due to lack of clients. Bad decisions shut down businesses as well so we can’t make assumptions as to what happened here.

      • Mad Dawg says:

        The government has been stupidly reducing the size of the economy. That’s why payroll tax is $35m below what they anticipated this quarter. They have been telling expats for years they’re not welcome, and they have taken the hint. The population of Bermuda is falling as expats are leaving. And now there are less people who need to rent houses, eat in restaurants, buy clothes, buy groceries.

        • i agree says:

          you are so right. im a expat and i love it here BUT im leaving to and there are no Bermudians in my type of work so now my apartment will be empty,no more eating in restaurants,buying clothes or groceries and no more payroll tax from me Sorry

          • wizeazz says:

            Yes we are leaving as well and many more like us have started the same process.When we came 5 years ago we had no expectation beyond our next work permit.Now we spend only on basic food,no dining out,no taxi into town a few times a week to the movies or plays.Now its only important for us to save for our departure and maximize our cash transfers.

        • argosy says:


          There are less cars to test/license (TCD); less taxes to collect (Tax Commissioner); less work Permits to issue/process (Immigration); less air passengers (DAO); less…well, you get the picture.

          Any staff reductions of Government employees – silly me!

          Falling revenue from the above streams? No problem. Just borrow more to make payroll!

          Time to get rid of this joke of a so-called Government.

      • The nitty gritty says:

        60,000 people dont live in StDavids bye
        StDavids Islanders catch their own and grow their own
        the rest of them refugees eat that packaged stuff.

    • Mayan says:

      Have you looked around, Victor? I’d hardly say Bermudians are starving to death-most of us could stand to lose a few pounds. Bermudians are still shopping and eating. Cupmatch eve the store shelves were swiped clean. There was also more money in circulation this year than last so people were spending money-a lot of it on food, camping gear, etc. Yes, things are tight but that is not the reason for White’s demise. The competition killed them-plain and simple.

      • Mad Dawg says:

        No. There are thousands less people. There is definitely less retail demand. That’s why Payroll Tax went down by $35m last quarter. And its also why shops, including supermarkets, have been and are closing. And yes, the weakest and least competitive shops will be the first to go. It’s Darwinism.

        • Mayan says:

          Darwinism? Darwinism applied to capitalism-that new. Darwinism doesn’t apply here-give me a break.

          Weak stores can go under whether there are thousands less people here are not. From reports, White’s started getting into trouble years ago-even before the recession hit and guest workers started leaving. There’s plenty of people here to keep the supermarkets afloat, but nobody is going to patronize a business with rude staff and crappy merchandise.

          I worked in banking and I can remember a certain supermarket depositing $2 million a week-and this was way back in 1995. The supermarkets pull in a bundle-more than enough to keep them all afloat if they do things right. When people leave, they may bring in a little less but they can still stay operational. I suspect White’s made some bad business decisions so let’s stop blaming the Gov’t which is all you do here…

          • Mad Dawg says:

            Mayan, Darwinism applied to capitalism isn’t new at all. As you say yourself, it has not been a healthy business for years. But it survived. But now there is a smaller economy. Weaker businesses are more vulnerable in a weak eceonomy. The issue is hiw we got this weak economy. We have Burch, Brown and Cox to thank for that.

  13. swing voter says:

    just goes to show how children don’t appreciate what their parents do for them. Too bad they didn’t apply for 60/40 waiver. Chinese have loads of cash to invest

  14. Just One says:

    We understand why the business needs to close; they owe money, but I (and others) want to know:

    1. Are all three store branches winding down?

    2. Did they run into financial difficulty because of bad management or is it because of lack of customers? What happened first, empty shelves, or not enough customers purchasing goods?

    3. Will another grocery store company at least purchase Whites South Side? Perhaps 4 grocery stores in Warwick was too many anyways, but my main point/hope here is that those employees can be reemployed elsewhere ASAP!!!

    • The nitty gritty says:

      Will another hotel buy Lantana? or Sonesta or Pink Beach
      Will anyone throw good money after bad?
      Will any of you be spending one unnecessary dime if the PLP get back in?
      You reap what you sow.

  15. ABM says:

    About time! The one is Warwick is the dirtiest and most outdated grocery shop on the entire island!

  16. sad times says:


    • i care says:

      i agree, the creditors mada alot of money from the whites stores all these years but do they care, i guess not

  17. Moonbeam says:

    The biggest concern is the loss of jobs.

  18. A mess says:

    The store in south side was funky from the start knew it would never last went there once never went back put a casino there.

  19. M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

    I hear Whites in Warwick will be taken over by BUZZZ and The WOK .. No Bermudian workers need apply .

    • SM says:

      God i hope not! Buzz is crap. Very sad day for the 85 employees which i am sure have families to support.

  20. St. D says:

    If the creditors didn’t draw the line then they’d be putting themselves, including all their employees, at risk. The fact is hard economic times has meant businesses have had to change how they manage … and those that didn’t change fast enough are becoming history. Very sad.

  21. Shocking says:

    6’000 less foreigners not buying and shopping makes a difference now ya think? Plus where can cashiers and shelf stackers and store hands be hired in a shrinking economy? The other supermarkets have the staff they need
    It’s not like u can say good buy to expats in professional fields it IT or financial world for them to be employed?

    They need to reeducate and retrain for about 5 yrs or more – moral of the story long lunch breaks chatting on cell phone and cutting out for haircuts and dentist and picking up baby mamas cousins son is not the way of the future anyone 30 years or older you will only enjoy hard living unless u rethink retrain and work very very hard…. Don’t despair folks do it all over the world and have been doing so and shock horror people immigrate why did all those expats come here and leave ah u got it they enjoyed the good times then left they ain’t gonna hang around and watch us fight over each other like crabs in a bucket .

    Most of the expats have gone already the one who are still here in the insurance world well we better hope they stay a little longer.

  22. Bermuda is in the throes of what we call a ‘shrinking economy’. The numbers of local consumers has shrunk drastically since 2010. Simply put, there are less people with money spending money on goods and services locally.

    This is the result of the worldwide economic recession hitting Bermuda combined with the current government’s ‘protectionist policies’ which they say are to ‘protect Bermudian jobs’.

    Unfortunately, this government’s policies towards business ie increasing payroll tax without warning,having a cumbersome work permit policy, anti foreigner rhetoric coming out of the mouths of previous government ministers etc has forced or driven thousands of consumers,foreign born consumers out of Bermuda and they have taken their dollars with them.

    There are now no longer sufficient consumers in Bermuda to support the local economy. More businesses are doomed to fail.

    I personally do not see a turnaround under this current government because they continue to do the same thing expecting a different result. Less local consumers both Bermudian and foreign residents, mean less profit for local businesses, less income for government and increasing government deficits.

    Here are the hard truths. Housing values will continue to fall, rents will continue to fall, more Bermudians will lose their jobs, violent crime will continue to increase as more unemployed Bermudians become increasingly desperate and things in general will continue to deteriorate until the government (whomever that may be after the next election)becomes more business friendly and by that I mean towards international business which is the only leg of our narrow economy that is still profitable. To continue on the path we are on spells doom for us all.

    Have a great weekend everyone!

  23. R you serious!!! says:

    What would you buy……They don’t own the buildings and there is no Stock! 85 more people soon out of work. Lord please help us all……….not good

  24. Bermudian says:

    Sad to see this happen…another 80 plus jobs gone. I agree, less people on the island means less money being spent on the island. Did the govt. not see the trickle down effect this would have on our economy? Lets just hope come election day we don’t see history repeat itself. I mean come on…will it have to take people having to eat roaches and grass for dinner for them to see that we need a change in govt. cause this one isn’t working? Aren’t people tired of “just making by”?

  25. HeyBye says:

    Not only are they shrinking the economy but also contributing to the reduction in competition.
    No competion, leads to monoplies and higher prices for Bermudians.

  26. The nitty gritty says:

    You elect selfish amateurs to run the most important aspect of your lives
    you throw smart practical businessmen with all the right ideas off to the side because of their color
    or political affiliation.
    Bob Richards apparently isnt authentic enough and Grant Gibbons is too white
    Young black females are trashed in cartoons for being pretty and in the wrong party, wrong constituency
    If Stephen Todd, Michael Scott and Dale Butler started a new party they’s get my vote
    Oh we’re all so shocked that it turned out this way after the REAL PLP were usurped by the Pretenders.

  27. Whites now that’s sad belvins I say good I don’t see not one local
    In any of those stores I stopped shopping thr I hope Buzz
    Goes down next and for that fool that blames it on the
    C Burch for sending these pp home shame on you let’s get
    Our own working first let them fill in the gaps not bring
    Them in and let ya own pp suffer

    • street wise says:

      Exactly what we’re talking about here… and you don’t even realize it. Sad in’it?

  28. MAKE MY DAY says:

    What else is getting ready to close in BDA – some churches perhaps!!! It’s nothing but bad news every week!! Where does the “buck” stop!! Figured it out yet? – the PLP cannot manage BDA’s economy, because they are a bunch of rank amateurs too busy looking after themselves – with the Tax Payers $$$!!

  29. Triangle Drifter says:

    Looking at some of the comments it is frightenting to see that so many think all one needs to do is hang the ‘OPEN’ sign on a door & the money just rolls on in.

    It does not work that way. The very basic economics must not be taught in Bermuda schools. Sorry, money does not fall from the sky, despite what the PLP & BIU would have their supporters believe.

    There needs to be a potential customer base, already there or anticipated to grow. There needs to be good management. There needs to be good staff dealing with the customers.

    Apparently Whites has been lacking in all of these key areas for some years.

    Nobody is going into a store with empty shelves. Nobody is going into a store where the staff don’t care.

    5 years ago I’ll bet the staff of Whites never thought that they would be sitting out in the street today.

    A wakeup call for indifferent staff around the Island.

    • Douglas says:

      Thank you very much! Everything can’t be the Government’s doing! At some point everyone has to be responsible for their own actions, at least in part!

  30. mixitup says:

    I do not blame the PLP for this stores demise, I blame the owners. If you watched Whites, they were hemmoraging when our economy was overheating, they have been going downhill for the past 5-7 years, they never shifted their business model, the stores were less than desireable, the service was mediocre at best. Now they are in over their heads and it’s over for them. Sad for the employees.

    • street wise says:

      They did what Trimingham’s did… they expanded too fast. And lost their focus.

      • Mayan says:

        A big mistake Trimmingham’s made was doing away with the Smith’s brand and calling the combined space Trimmingham’s-that is, they should have kept the Smith’s name and run them as two distinct, separate stores with their own separate identities. I loved Smith’s and then Trimmingham’s took over-they started using the Trimmingham’s bags, sold the same stuff as Trimmingham’s instead of Smith’s unique products, made the decor the same and called everything Trimmingham’s. Effectively all they did was increase Trimmingham’s square footage. If they’d kept the Smith’s store the way it was, with it’s own unique style and merchandise they might still be open.

    • Mad Dawg says:

      Mixitup, your description sounds like the government. Haemoraging money, going downhill for the past 7 years, less than desirable, mediocre at best, and in iver their heads. And they’re bankrupt too.

  31. terry says:

    It’s a trait that has been going on for years, many years.
    I am owed this job. Youcan’t fire me um ……..

  32. swing voter says:

    we knew that expats were leaving, but was Whites such a winner with expats that there enough ppl left on island to patronize their stores? Same happened to whites as happend to many businesses….Poorly run in good times = survival……Poorly run in bad times (government induced recession) = liquidation. And yes I agree that poor government policy is mostly to blame for the state of the economy, empty rental units, less income tax, less service oriented employment. Only thing pissin me off is that the fcukin government is not cutting back or closing down necessary departments and services like the businesses they’ve caused to shut down. With less taxes returns to be processed, less immigration work permit processing, less school children in the system, less buses on the road, less mail to deliver, less garbage to pickup, etc etc, why is government employing so many to do less?

    • circular trap..... says:

      because if the govt lays people off, the newly unemployed people will all come to the back door asking for financial support – the govt almost HAS to keep them employed, as this way the govt actually gets some sort of service in return — either way, the govt will pay.

      • Ride says:

        @circular trap

        That is ridiculous. Having them on Financial Aid would be much less expensive then employing them. The truth of the matter is that it would be political suicide to lay-off the workers en mass at this point with an election due in 7 months. Not to mention the social impact. No sensible political party would do this at this time. This is why they tried the pension cost cut idea. Not a perfect solution but something has to be done to address payroll cost.

        Since the payroll cost cut has not worked out (haven’t heard anything about it for months) I think government employees should beware post election. The borrowing has to stop at some point. Costs must be cut. Per employee efficiencies must be gained. Government needs both a more efficient and a less expensive workforce. I believe there is no incentive for either, generally speaking, when looking at the stalled pension cost cut idea, the recursive bus scheduled ratification, and so on. From the outside looking in there appears to be an acceptance of some rule of law that their jobs are secure no matter what; economy, budget, blatant flaunts of safety procedures, carriage of passengers under the influence, … you name it.

        The awakening that is to come may knock some of them unconscious.


  33. Bermuda cicada says:

    I was taught long ago, when talking about White’s specifically, that there is an old saying that any business will not last 3 generations. The first generation will start the business. The second generation will consolidate the business. And the third generation will break it up.

  34. Bermp Bermp says:

    Well all I know is Lindo’s is an amazing supermarket for everyone; great staff, shelves always full, great selection, and never had a problem! Miles, supermart, Arnolds, Harrington Hundreds, and Marketplace are also great stores too. So what I’m trying to say is when you have great stores like these and then Whites who can’t even get bread on the shelves…. well, what do you expect??? Bermudians are not just gonna shop there cause they wanna help!
    I feel awful for all the staff who now have no jobs, but that is an example of poor management. The sad thing is that the owners/managers will probably have no problem finding a new job or retiring whereas checkout ladies and shelf stockers are the ones who really have a hard time because lets be real, this government aint gonna help them!!

  35. M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

    So long old friend , bye ,bye ..

  36. terry says:

    Then I guess thats what the PLP are doing.

  37. boogie down productions says:

    When Co-Op went outa business cause people stopped shopping there was there any outcry about the Government not doin dey share…. Coop lost out cause people didn’t wanna shop there and the same for Whites…. yes there r some things that aren’t right but the Govt. isn’t responsible for all that goes wrong in the day to day running of a private company//// just wish ALL u nay sayers would grow up n b responsible minded citizens

    • Mayan says:

      Co-Op was a hideous supermarket. They were ridiculously expensive, yet you literally had to wipe the dust off the merchandise to see the price-and I am not exaggerating. I went there a few times but would only buy stuff that I could verify was fresh such as their baked goods. One time I needed something else that was packaged. After wiping off the dust, I recalled how a friend had bought cereal there and it had moths in the box. I then wondered when it expired and upon checking, it had an expiry date of FIVE YEARS before. I will swear to that on a stack of Bibles. They were GROSS…

  38. Confused says:

    Sad sad day to see ANOTHER Bermy business lose to the economy, but frankly with the merchandise and product they were “selling” a law suit waiting to happen, Green ground beef??? Really?

  39. Diesel says:

    So, in summary: bad management + declining economy = the weakest stores going out of business. Exactly like Sir John writes about in the paper. Unless there’s a large enough national workforce to support them, more companies will go out of business.

    Senior expats, the ones who run IB, right now are sitting around waiting for the election befor making any big plans. If it’s to be 5 more years of this, you’ll see them leave en mass shortly after the election, followed by more closures and more Bermudians out of work. This will happen unless there’s a big change in govt policy at the next election. That could mean the PLP is reelected but with a dramatically different tone and platform compared to the last election and even compared to Paula’s recent policy (or lack thereof). Absent a big change, 2013 could be a very bad year for this island.

  40. bolb says:

    next business to close is the PLP along with the rest.

  41. Fed Up Bermudian says:

    The world economy is in the tank for the past 3 years plus.The current ruling party the PLP has done to little to late to really make a difference for all of us .Example property values down 20-30% island wide with no real turn around possible for up to 10 years. Only the well run run, deep pocket , lucky businesses will survive and they will all make hard decisions every day for the better of there investments and there employees to make it work. The Premiere has said to all Government employees that there jobs are safe. 6,000 plus employees told there jobs are safe. If that is not buying there votes i do not know what would be. Clearly Whites made some bad decisions over the past few years and look at the results.

    They also say the 1st generation starts it with hard work, the second expands it and the 3rd generation blows it.

    Very sad day for the Whites family and hard working staff members,some with

    30 plus years of hard work and dedication.

  42. Chrissy says:

    When we lived in Bermuda we spent our first Christmas feeling very lonely as only two Canadians can when living away from their home in Nova Scotia. Two days before Christmas in 1988 we went to White’s to grochery shop and in the parking lot there was a large container of Christmas trees from Nova Scotia packed in snow. I will never forget my 6 foot husband jumping in and tossing snowballs at all the laughing shoppers! Still one of my best memories! So sorry to see all the changes in Bermuda!