Provisional Liquidators Appointed For Cooper’s

June 12, 2020 | 30 Comments

Joint Provisional Liquidators have been appointed for A.S. Cooper, which “will not reopen its stores for trading until the JPLs have established whether a sale of all of part of the business as a going concern is possible.”

The retailer — which was established in 1897 — operated A.S. Cooper Ladies on Reid Street, A.S. Cooper Man and Vineyard Vines on Front Street and A.S. Cooper Dockyard at the Clocktower Mall.

A statement said, “Charles Thresh and Michael Morrison, both of KPMG Advisory Limited, were appointed Joint Provisional Liquidators [JPLs]  of A.S. Cooper & Sons Limited on Friday 12th June, 2020 by Order of the Supreme Court of Bermuda.

“The Company, whose stores were closed on March 18, 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, will not reopen its stores for trading until the JPLs have established whether a sale of all of part of the business as a going concern is possible.

“The A.S. Cooper branded department store has been a family-owned business operating since 1897. Originally a general store on Front Street founded by Alexander Samuel Cooper, A.S. Cooper evolved into Bermuda’s premier purveyor of men’s and women’s fashion.

“The current store locations are A.S. Cooper Ladies on Reid Street, A.S. Cooper Man and Vineyard Vines on Front Street and A.S. Cooper Dockyard at the Clocktower Mall in Dockyard. For over 100 years, A.S. Cooper has been a tradition in the Bermuda market and is known as the retailer of many highly-desirable luxury brands.

“Astwood Dickinson, a part of the Company until 2019, is owned independently and is not affected by the appointment of provisional liquidators. Similarly, A.S. Cooper’s former ground floor business on Front Street, now known as 59 Front, selling cosmetics, fragrances, gifts, china and crystal was sold and is not affected by the appointment of provisional liquidators.

“It is the JPLs’ intention to sell the business, or parts thereof, as a going concern. All serious offers will be considered however, these must be capable of completion within a very short timeframe. Please contact the JPLs’ staff listed below if you have an interest in any or all of the business. The JPLs will be providing details of the sale process to all prospective interested parties.

“The JPLs will now liaise with the employees and other creditors in accordance with the purpose of their appointment. Any creditors, suppliers, customers should contact Shrene Shergill or Brianna Buchanan on 295-5063 or by email: ascoopers@kpmg.bm. Parties interested in purchasing the business should contact Richard Hobday on 294-2600 email: richardhobday@kpmg.bm.”

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  1. sandgrownan says:

    Sad news. Not the first, and it wont be the last. 24 months of declining retail sales – I guess Jason Haywood was right, the retail sector will soon no longer be significant.

    This was inevitable given successive PLP government behaviour.

    • De sky is falling, you disappointed me.
      Was waiting for you to blame covid19 on PLP.
      LMAO

      • Mark says:

        No need oh witless one. Pee El Peers keep digging the hole deeper without any outside assistance.

      • Sandgrownan says:

        We are exactly where we were in February. Economically screwed.

        And Burt and Co have no idea what to do.

      • Question says:

        Retail has been nosediving since 2017. Every month is down on the same month a year before, for the past 3 years straight. But Hayward thinks retail isn’t important in Bermuda.

  2. Toejam Express says:

    Retail business in Bermuda has been in decline since the late 1980s especially with he arrival of the internet and online purchasing from overseas. Several business like AS Cooper got too greedy and overstretched themselves by opening too many branch stores. The goods being sold were also too overpriced and low in quality for the local market…forcing Bermudians to buy overseas. Sad to see a Bermuda institution go bust but it’s a simple case of market forces coming hone to roost. The demise of the former locally owned piggy banks of the oligarchs, Bank of Bermuda and Bank of Butterfield, helped to escalate the demise of the likes Trimminghams and now AS Coopers. Prior to the 2009 recession the Bermuda economy was doing extremely well…under a then PLP government. This has nothing to do with politics or a political party. Simple market forces and bad judgement on the part of AS Coopers.

    • Sandgrownan says:

      Bollocks. There are too few people and no liquidity in the local economy. We’re boned and it’s a direct result of the PLP not 2009 or COVID.

      • Wake up Bie says:

        People like you are the reason they have Black Lives Matter. Your racism is so evident by your constant blogging and negative talk about a black Government. Your’re a strong UBP/oba supporter and your one of the very reason blacks departed from that party.

        • Samdgrownan says:

          You have no idea at all.

          This isn’t about BLM, it’s about the economy and how the PLP have failed Bermuda for 20 years. 20. Think about that.

      • BermudaWakeUp says:

        Yo Sandman you’re right.I grew up under the PLP and the island has gone from increasing debt, to more increasing debt. I’ve been thinking a lot about that 2017 summer election more and more. Burt has shown himself to be no more than a follower and a puppet. I got to admit, Bermuda’s downfall is that the island is too dependent on outside supplies. By destroying local businesses/the decline of retail, bermudians are becoming more and more dependent. Believe you me, this is being used to manipulate government and other decision makers.

    • Mr P says:

      It’s such a shame. You could argue there are many reason why AS Coopers has closed – especially as an outsider looking in. I must challenge what you say though Toejam, AS Cooper’s carried mainstream luxury brands such as Ralph Lauren and Vineyard Vines. They sold them at US retail and Tax Free, so it’s unfair to say they were overpriced. Who knows, maybe the wrong price points, or products, or running of the business, but not overpriced.

      A sad loss from the island, with all the jobs it takes too. Covid 19 was possibly the final nail in the coffin. As someone that also works in retail in town, it’s really tough right now. Massively reduced footfall, but the running costs remain.

      Please come and have a browse around town, and if you can, treat yourself or someone you care about – and thank you to all those that already have

    • bandit says:

      Toejam Express….I beg to differ about AS Cooper pricing…over the past 15 years 80% of goods sold at US retail as indicated on the already ticketed merchandise.

      • Youngsmith says:

        He wouldn’t know he doesn’t buy Bermuda besides for medicine, gas, groceries and cellphone bill.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh nothing to do with the PLP huh? Are you delusional? We were in fine shape in 1998, but the PLP spent money like it was water. The reccession is significant but a more prudent government would have had us in a better position. The plp simply took for granted that the economy would always be in good shape and we’re still paying for it today.

      • Answer says:

        You forgot to mention the 185 mill we have to pay for that the OBA signed off on LOL.

        Oh and less not forget the 70 mill to a bunch of rich folks to race toy boats all paid and will be paid by US!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • saud says:

          You forgot to mention the missing $800 Million. The $40 Million per year for the inadequate hospital that the plp built. Their ignorance of the airport situation and your refusal to acknowledge that the current airport isn’t acceptable for current security standards.
          Don’t forget the Millions of dollars the plp is spending in the UK to try and legislate discrimination…

          Why do you hate Bermuda so much?

        • Sandgrownan says:

          An America’s Cup type event would be quite helpful right now would it not ….

    • Kathy Anne Rowntree says:

      Here are some facts.I worked at ASC for 47 yrs.The merchandise is /was priced at US retail prices.90% of our men’s store was at US retail prices, yet there were still people who purchased on line paid, duty, taxes,& shipping adding up to more than the Bermuda prices,know I know Bermuda cannot be all things for everyone,we have high rents etc.
      It’s not easy running a retail business in this climate,it’s so easy to let our fingers do the walking.
      These were extremely dedicated,loyal hard working staff who gave their all,I hired them all.

  3. Toadinthehole says:

    The first of many?

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      This is far from being the first of many. This is just one of many more to come.

      Bermuda was warned. Bermuda cannot afford a PLP Government. Who in 1998 thought that it would be possible for Bermuda to go from being the most envied micro nation in the world, to the most ineptly managed micro nation with a massive debt & almost dead retail, in such a short time.

  4. There goes the neighborhood.
    We need to teach sewing in school.
    See if the barn needs retail space.

  5. Bermudian says:

    Another icon gone. In my opinion it was the prettiest shop in town with the friendliest staff. Not to mention christmas season…it was beautiful. Cost of living and doing business in Bermuda is just simply too high. I wish the Cooper family well and its staff.

    • Kathy Anne Rowntree says:

      Thank you,I retired 5 yrs ago as General Manager/ HR Director,I think we had the best staff,who gave me 100% & more,They were the best!

  6. Vortex says:

    Where is the economic stimulus Mr Burt?

    This Government is bankrupting Bermuda.

    Shameful.

  7. Me says:

    Have to ask the question is Bermuda and our people any better off under this current government has your lifestyle improved any?

  8. Youngsmith says:

    That’s a load of crap. I was born in the 80′s and majority of households didn’t have cable TV let alone internet. Many people complained about the cost of goods, as a matter of fact the sales were awesome and you had quality stores and merchandise. The problem was we people no longer seemed quality and preferred quality. A lot of pop up cheap quality stores opened with prices a little lower than the bigger merchants. People often shopped at these cheaper quality stores, later realizing that those deals weren’t no longer attractive if your not paying too much. This is why the trend of shopping abroad began. People hopped on flights eastbound of the US. They went to cheap stores to purchase more quantities of cheap quality goods. Truth be told even though many won’t admit it, their wallets and mindset won’t allow them to purchase all quality goods. Very few tend to buy high end. Hence the old comparisons of people buying cheap clothing and wearing Luxury brand purses came about. A lot if stores locally have or had quality, but you don’t like supporting local business you prefer to shop abroad and watch your economy slump. Remember every decision has repercussions.

  9. michael says:

    I am a former retailer. In the heyday, late 50s to 80s we had a thriving hotel and tourist business.
    95 % of sales were from Americans in US $. 60 thousand people cannot support the number of
    shops we have and had before. After the war there was no business and we slowly clawed back.
    British goods were wanted by Americans and were cheaper in Bermuda. So the more tourists the
    more business we did. With discounting rampant in America and low & similar import costs there
    was no saving to be found in Bermuda. Triminghams, Smiths, Archie Brown went down later to
    be followed by Blucks and now Coopers. We should be very worried these shops employed a
    lot of Bermudians and duties on the goods paid nearly 50% of Govt revenue. This was not being
    paid by Bermudians. It is ridiculous to say it was greedy to have branch stores as it was an
    attempt to reach all potential customers. Coopers bravely fought a rearguard action and more is
    the pity that they have succumbed. Farewell Coopers we will miss you!

  10. Liam says:

    So sorry to hear the sad news. I worked as a guest worker in the store on front street, for many years. One could not work for a nicer family, I wish you and all the loyal staff the very best. Things will work out. Liam

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