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Appointment of Joint Provisional Liquidators to Wm. Bluck & Co. Ltd

Appointment of Joint Provisional Liquidators to Wm. Blu

KPMG in Bermuda appointented as Joint Provisional Liquidators to Wm. Bluck & Co. Ltd.

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Michael Morrison and Charles Thresh, both of KPMG Advisory Limited, were appointed Joint Provisional Liquidators of Wm. Bluck & Co., Ltd, (the “Company”) on Friday, February 15, 2019, by Order of the Supreme Court of Bermuda. Bluck’s of Bermuda has subsequently ceased trading and closed its doors after 175 years of operation. The Front Street retailer began business in 1844 as a hardware store and over the years, grew to become a high-end, internationally known vendor of antiques, fine china and crystal.

The downturn in business for Bluck’s can be attributed to four main issues:

  1. Loss of its main customer base following the 2009 economic downturn;
  2. A change in the tourism demographic;
  3. Higher costs of doing business; and
  4. Change in modern lifestyles, including online shopping. 

“In simple terms, the closure of Bluck’s is a sign of the times,” said Peter Darling, a Director of the Company. “There is no single reason for us closing. Business has decreased and the costs of doing business have increased. Following the 2008 global financial crisis, among the people who left Bermuda were our some of our best customers. Other good customers were tourists; our tourism business has changed, and also, today people have direct access online to buy china and crystal directly from the manufacturers.”

“In addition, lifestyles are different – people eat out more and don’t entertain at home as much as they used to. We’ve considered and tried many options to diversify and adapt to today’s needs, but it hasn’t worked well enough and the directors have regretfully decided to wind up the company.”

“We are particularly saddened by this turn of events because of the history and our family’s involvement with the business. My grandfather Leslie Darling had an incredible eye for beautiful and quality items, and he did a phenomenal job of building the Bluck’s brand for excellence.” 

William Bluck & Co. was established in 1844 by John Bluck, and he was joined by Leslie Darling in 1935. After the death of Mr. Bluck in 1942, Mr. Darling became the owner and since then, three generations of Darlings have run the business. Throughout Bluck’s history, it operated five stores and as business declined, four shops were closed, leaving the one original location in west Hamilton.

Continued Mr. Darling, “Thank you to all those who have worked at Bluck’s over the years – full-time, part-time, seasonal and summer interns. Many people around the world enjoy beautiful items in their homes every day thanks to you. Times change, and we have to move on.”

The Joint Provisional Liquidators will now proceed to fulfill their statutory duties and will prepare to realize the remaining assets of the company, which may include a sale in due course of the remaining stock at the Front Street premises.

For more information: Any creditors, suppliers or customers are asked to contact KPMG: Shrene Shergill (295 5063, shreneshergill@kpmg.bm) or Mike Penrose (294 2603, michaelpenrose@kpmg.bm).

© 2020 KPMG, a group of Bermuda limited liability companies which are member firms of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Coopertive (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

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