Skyport Selects Specialty Retail Concessionaire

October 6, 2020

[Updated] Skyport announced that the Duty Free and Specialty Retail concession for the new terminal has been awarded to the Somers Isles Trading Company, which was founded and developed by local resident Rhona Sutton.

A spokesperson said, “An elevated retail experience will be on offer in the new passenger terminal building of the LF Wade International Airport when it opens later this year.

Somers Isles Trading Company Bermuda Sept 2020 1

“Skyport, operators of the L.F. Wade International Airport, today announced the Duty Free and Specialty Retail concession for the new state-of-the-art terminal has been awarded to The Somers Isles Trading Company, with plans in place to deliver an unparalleled customer experience to Bermuda’s residents and visitors alike.

“The Somers Isles Trading Company was founded and developed by local resident, Rhona Sutton, the respected owner and entrepreneur of the Rhona Sutton Group, with over twenty years’ experience developing products and designs for international clients including Harrods, Disney, Macy’s, Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton.

“Combining a personal love for Bermuda with a deep understanding of leisure, resort and airport environments, Ms. Sutton has spent the past two years developing a customized, branded retail concept, soon to be launched as “Love Bermuda”.

Somers Isles Trading Company Bermuda Sept 2020 2

“We celebrate the colour, vibrancy, and life of Bermuda in a space where the customer experience is created through a welcoming environment, lovingly designed quality products, friendly people and excellent service,” says Ms. Sutton. “The Love Bermuda product offer is a vibrant eclectic and authentic range of quality merchandise presented with elegant clarity.”

“To develop the Somers Isles and Love Bermuda brands, Ms. Sutton and her team have collaborated with some 45 Bermudian artisans, entrepreneurs and service companies to bring the project to life. The venture realises Rhona’s ambition to make a tangible contribution to the island of Bermuda that has been her wish since she first visited over 10 years ago,” Skyport said.

Aaron Adderley, President, Skyport, says: “It was important for us to introduce an innovative retail proposition for the new passenger terminal building. We are delighted to see Somers Isle Trading working with so many Bermudian businesses, several of whom have never before had a presence at the airport. Ms. Sutton’s vision for the stores and her attention to detail is extraordinary and when the shop doors open, travellers will be genuinely impressed with what they see.”

“Fresh contemporary concepts that embrace thoughtful and innovative design celebrating the Bermudian sense of pride and community, will highlight the stories of the local artisans behind the brands, many of whom will be featured at the airport for the first time.

Ms. Sutton added, “This is an exciting opportunity for the smaller Bermudian entrepreneurs who were not showcased in the current airport, allowing them now to have an international audience. This means greater exposure and scope for growth for the featured Bermudian brands, in line with our commitment to increased training initiatives and employment opportunities for Bermudians.”

She adds: “The Airport team sought an elevated experience for its passengers, and we are delighted to be working with Skyport to deliver this. As an entrepreneur and business founder, I’m pleased to collaborate with so many talented people to champion their locally designed and produced brands.

“While celebrating the beauty and ‘sense of place’ of Bermuda, each of the brands have their own story and ethos designed to celebrate the history and culture of the island. The Somers Isles Trading Company itself reflects the original outpost of Bermuda’s commerce formed in 1615. The branded stores at L.F. Wade’s new passenger terminal will also feature a carefully edited collection of wines, spirits, craft beers, tobacco and souvenirs, as well as the luxury and novelty gift collections for men, women and children of all ages.”

Update Oct 7, 3.39pm: A spokesperson said, “The Somers Isle Trading Company is a local company with Bermudian and non-Bermudian ownership. They were awarded the retail contract for the new passenger terminal building after a full RFP process. Only one other company submitted a proposal in response to the RFP and Somers Isle’s proposal was selected.

“The company has invested upwards of $6 million to create four brand-new shops in the new terminal and remains committed to the investment despite the global economic impacts of Covid-19. Somers Isle will create jobs for 30 Bermudians and has partnered with local entrepreneurs and artisans to produce a diverse Bermudian product offering.”

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Comments (65)

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  1. Markman says:

    Good luck”

  2. Mark says:

    considering who is in absolute control right now, we need to check on these deals as much as possible. I will be making an access to information request but does anyone know who Rhona Sutton is? she is listed as the only director of this company with an address in NYC. She is also the only director of Duty Free Shops Bermuda Ltd. with an address in Switzerland. very suspect. if no one is going to police these politicians as they do what they please with our money, we have to.

    • Dawn says:

      Agreed – and how many Bermudians will she employ?? They made it sound like she was Bermudian, but she’s not! Purposefully misleading I suspect

    • White Wash says:

      Stop having your panties in a twist. It was the obaUBP that gave the airport away to Canada for 30 years. The present govt has no say!!!

      • Mark says:

        lol, nice try trump/plp bot. the people wont be distracted by your nonsense anymore. go back to Russia!

      • Joe Bloggs says:

        The present PLP Government has EVERY right to end the agreement. The previous PLP Government chose not to. The previous PLP Government has admitted as much.

        Quite apart from the fact that the previous PLP Government would ignore the law when it wanted to, the previous PLP Government has also told us that there is a cancellation clause in the airport agreement but it is too expensive to use when we are already billions of dollars in debt.

  3. Facts says:

    By saying a “resident of Bermuda” they are trying to make it seem like it is a Bermudian company when in fact it is completely operated by a non Bermudian who has been temporarily living here since this deal was awarded. While also allowing her to create her own ‘Bermuda’ products all made overseas. What happened to supporting local businesses??

  4. Didn’t we have the PC, BIU, BUT and the plp themselves back in Dec 2016, protesting heavily against the Airport being given away to the foreigners?
    Now no one is saying a word about the plp now giving away the prime vendor spot to a foreigner, you seriously cant make this stuff up!! SMDH!!!

    • sandgrownan says:

      I presume it went out to tender by the airport operators?

      • YEA OK says:


        • sandgrownan says:

          The post down below seems to suggest it did?

        • sandgrownan says:

          Article updated : A spokesperson said, “The Somers Isle Trading Company is a local company with Bermudian and non-Bermudian ownership. They were awarded the retail contract for the new passenger terminal building after a full RFP process. Only one other company submitted a proposal in response to the RFP and Somers Isle’s proposal was selected.

          “The company has invested upwards of $6 million to create four brand-new shops in the new terminal and remains committed to the investment despite the global economic impacts of Covid-19. Somers Isle will create jobs for 30 Bermudians and has partnered with local entrepreneurs and artisans to produce a diverse Bermudian product offering.”

    • Jim Bob says:

      This contract is awarded by Skyport. Not the government. Blame the OBA. I mean I seem to remember a certain vendor and his famous black rum was banging on about the airport being a great deal when the OBA wanted to force it through. That same vendor seems to have changed his tune now that he has not be re-awarded the duty free contract!

      • Mark says:

        Its obvious that people don’t have to pass an intelligence test to write here. Look again friend. Who controls work permits? you honestly think that Aecon is going to award something to someone with all the numpties running around this island not approving? smdh

    • Kris says:

      You can’t be serious!?! Skype operates and controls all things airport related. So YES blame your OBA counterparts
      So now ypu want to run to PLP amd the Unions and protesters as if ypu supported their efforts to stop this deal from happening. Go sleep!

      • Mark says:

        it amazes me how deeply the plp/trump people ha e infiltrated our society. Please go back to moscow comrade. We dont want you here

  5. Robert says:

    Luxury items? I hope they are more middle of the road prices.

  6. white cat says:

    interesting how the above comments blame the PLP. But in fact Aceon controls Skyport and the contracts they award. BLAME the OBA government for giving us a gift that keeps on giving.

  7. Town Rat says:

    Rhonda Sutton is not Bermudian and hasn’t lived on island for a long time. How does PLP get away with giving non-Bermudians this business opportunity? There are so many local businesses that they could’ve chosen for this. Downright appalling.

    • Free Thinker says:

      Dumb a55 the airport is controlled by A-con job. Politicians have no control over the airport, thanks to the one sided deal.

      • trufth says:

        No, but they sure do control the handing out of work permits which she will need if she is, in fact, not Bermudian.

    • Sign says:

      Skyport/Aceon run the airport not the government. OBA gave our airport away.

      • CHRIS says:

        go SIT DOWN. they did not… just more political BS Spin from the green machine that put Bda in DEBT by billions!

      • saud says:

        PLP gave away our hospital

      • Mark says:

        can we give you away?

  8. No thanks says:

    Rhona Sutton is from New York and has no bermudian connections. I wouldnt spend one cent in her shop.

  9. Foul!!! says:

    Ok I am young, black and BERMUDIAN yet I got passed over for both this and a food concession at the airport! This will not stand even if we have to march against the elitist in this country!!!

    • sandgrownan says:

      Perhaps your tender didn’t meet the requirements? Being black and Bermudian doesn’t entitle you to anything.

    • Bermudian says:

      Why do you think being black entitles you to being picked?

  10. Interesting details says:

    Well she appears to own property, is British and a work permit holder.

  11. No support for Bermuda retailers! says:

    This is outrageous! Local Bermudian businesses were interested in this space and it’s given to a non Bermudian. There is no support for the struggling Bermudian retail sector.

    • You get what you elect says:

      Well you idiots elected the circus clowns again so live with it!

    • Sandgrownan says:

      You should direct your outrage at the PLP who are directly responsible for the economic stagnation we face.

      • Answer says:

        Na your UBP=oba circus own this B$ or should I say gave the airport away. AECON/Skyport have total control thanks to jetgate and YA loser party :) . Now advertise for a new leader to run hahah.

        • sandgrownan says:

          Right now, the airport project is looking like the deal of the century. Outstanding good value, and it looks to be on-time and on-budget. When has that ever happened in Bermuda? Oh wait, Cross Island for the AC…LOL….

          • Deal of the Century? says:

            Do drug$ much?
            Morons like you need to stay off the Internet!

            • sandgrownan says:

              I’m serious, come on think about it. Presuming we needed a new airport, renovating the old one would be throwing good money after bad, plus we couldn’t afford a new airport, and we have, let’s be honest, a sh*t track record of major capital projects, PFI/PPP is the only way to go and create some jobs in the interim.

              So, we go down the path and we get in return a brand new airport (on time and on budget) and we don’t have to run the old one.

              I know there’s been gnashing of teeth about the revenue guarantee, but do some quick math. Think about the airport revenue, what’s been lost due to COVID and note that the airport has continued to be open, needs all of those staff to keep the lights on etc. SO, while revenue is down, runnings cost remain. Plus, at the same time, we have a nearly complete airport.

              I’m not smoking crack, but the math says that we’ve already gotten a good deal out of this. The PLP have lied to you (surprise surprise).

            • sandgrownan says:

              Tell you what, I’ll even do the math for you. Airport revenue is approx $31m a year, or $2.5m a month. During the period when it was closed, March to June, it would have lost $7.5m. Follow me? Now, given seasonal adjustments, it’s probably closer to $6m but either way, paying out $5.77m puts us ahead of game. Still following me?

              But it’s better than that because a) we haven’t had to pay running costs for that period and b) we haven’t had to pay for a new airport (or borrow to pay for a new airport). Kaching!

              You could also go read the Blue Ribbon panel report on why it’s a good deal.

              • You don’t know $hit says:

                So you are equating a loss of revenue to an expense?

                If we lost $7.5M as potential income then OK that happens but to have to spend $5M is a direct cost where we could have just left the airport idle and not had that expense on our books!

                Do drug$ much?

                • sandgrownan says:

                  Ah, I detect PLP math.

                  The point is that a) the airport isn’t idle, it still has running costs even if flight volume is near zero, and b) and this is important, there is still the expense of building the new airport which is significantly higher than $5.77m.

                  Go read the Blue Ribbon report.

                  • Nope says:

                    Try running your own business first and then post because there is no way someone throws good money after bad especially when the business is idle or at an all time low!

                    • sandgrownan says:


                      If you accept the old (existing) airport is falling down then you have two options – repair or build. The view by pretty much everyone is/was, to build new. So, then it has to be paid for. That’s the argument.

                      What I’m saying, is that right now, we can have our cake an eat it too – the deal as constructed looks pretty good. The numbers seem to suggest that.

        • Mark says:

          please take yourself out of my country

  12. No support for Bermuda retailers! says:

    This is outrageous! Bermudian retailers were interested in this space and it’s given to a non Bermudian. There’s no support for the struggling Bermudian retail sector.

  13. Kris Wright says:

    Foolish statement. Skyport controls all things Airport related. Not the PLP. YES BLAME YOUR OBA COUNTERPARTS FOR GOVING A GOFT THAT KEEPS ON TAKING!

    • Mark says:

      nah numpty capsalot…ya mug…cant fight the truth. you voted for numpties and that’s what ya gonna get. you and your trump-like people can only blame the other so long. pretty soon you have to look in the mirror. also, who do you blame for everything else? im guess not the plp lol…cant wait for change, forced or otherwise to open your eyes. and it will come.

    • Mark says:

      lolllll…ewart brown smashing our country….remember that? Nothing has changed lol

    • Mark says:

      if you cant spell english, go back to school in moscow trumpovich

  14. saud says:

    Goving a goft of a hospital away to foreign interests has PLP written all over it.

  15. Ringmaster says:

    Lucky the airport doesn’t need electricity. Oh wait, who will own the only generating station in Bermuda, approved by the PLP. Lucky Bermudians can control the solar farm on the airport arm. Oh wait, that was also given to foreigners by the PLP. The airport is not owned by foreigners, it is owned by Bermuda despite the best spin put out by the PLP.

    • Marcusbmco says:


    • Joe Bloggs says:

      I must disagree Ringmaster.

      The previous PLP Government made it perfectly clear when the bid by Algonquin for our Belco was announced that it doesn’t care what the RA says, the PLP Government will not allow our Belco to be sold to foreigners!

      • Question says:

        The airport is not owned by foreigners, but Belco now is. That’s the point.

      • sandgrownan says:

        Well, it’s not “your” Belco, it’s a publicly held company.

        And too late, the deal is all but concluded. If Bermuda wasn’t broke, perhaps we’d have more options, but it is and we don’t.

  16. Marcusbmco says:

    Wow ! Exciting comments. Ive never been a supporter of this project. I felt we could’ve bought 3 used jetways and keep going. I guess Canadian firms now OWN most of our infrastructure. Thanks OBA and PLP!

  17. Marcusbmco says:

    Oh, by the you know anytime you see the phrase “state of the art” it’s a lie. There’s no such thing these days. It’s a term used by politicians and marketing peeps. Jus sayin…..