Atlantic store rises again

The Atlantic department store has officially reopened its doors at the newly constructed Governors Square on West Bay Road.

Atlantic department store staff

Dorothy Japal, seated centre, and her staff at the newly opened Atlantic department store at Governors Square. Photo: Basia Pioro

At 9,000 square feet, it’s bigger and better than its original incarnation, and the spacious and airy interior is a far cry from Standards by Atlantic, the temporary version of the store housed in an aging George Town strip mall the company just decamped from.

‘We are so happy to have a proper home base from which we can start thinking about the future again,’ says Dorothy Japal, who co-owns the store along with husband Jeff, and her sister and brother-in-law Annette and Danny Scott.

Mrs. Japal’s aunt and uncle, Tommy and Dorothy Hurlston, opened the original Atlantic in the early 1970s and it’s no surprise she is so at home in her surroundings: her mother, Margaret, managed the store until Mrs. Japal took over a decade ago.

‘This store is what I do, what our family does,’ says Mrs. Japal. ‘But it didn’t feel like we really were back from Ivan until we opened our doors here.’

Recovering from Ivan was no small task – the former location was demolished, and most of the stock destroyed.

‘We were fortunate we could somehow regroup, and although we did lose some employees, we tried to keep as many staff employed as possible,’ says Mrs. Japal.

‘At the same time, it gave us a chance to test out some new ideas. For example in July, we opened Atlantic Kids, which features lines like Osh-kosh, which my sister runs and it’s definitely going to stay open as its own entity.’

Adults can now set their sights on the new Atlantic, which overlooks Seven Mile Beach. The gleaming interior space features men’s and ladies’ casual and formal wear, shoes, accessories, gifts, party-ware and artwork.

And, for the ladies, a much expanded lingerie section boasts an impressive selection of intimates and sleepwear.

‘We knew that our female customers were particularly missing our lingerie and we’ve got even more items than before,’ says Mrs. Japal.

And although the Atlantic Kids store now takes care of the store’s smaller-sized clients, Atlantic still carries a small selection of kids’ stuff as well.

Now unpacked and settling in, Mrs. Japal is focusing on welcoming returning staff, new hires fresh to the retail scene and a few old pros like manager Jamie Smith.

‘Like our clients, our staff reflects the international face of Cayman,’ says Mrs. Japal.

With the team coming together for the launch of the Christmas season, Mrs. Japal can already see the beginnings of a budding new Atlantic family.

‘We are really looking forward to the future, and hope our customers will enjoy the new premises,’ she says.

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