The Cost-U-Less warehouse store opened its doors for business Thursday morning at Governors Square with a promise to do something about the high cost of living in Cayman.
The grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday morning followed a special invitation only store preview and reception Wednesday night.
Governors Square developer and Cost-U-Less shareholder Bobby Bodden said the seed for the store was planted with the formation of Cayman Drug Ltd. in 1965, which persevered for 42 years.
‘In the meantime, supermarkets added pharmacies and became supermarkets and pharmacies in one operation,’ he said. ‘The time came when we were simply unable to compete.’
Mr. Bodden and the other major shareholder of Cayman Drug, Naul Bodden, decided Cayman Drug needed to be at a minimum a pharmacy and a supermarket.
‘But… we are not followers and decided to crank it up a notch,’ he said. ‘What was required was the right partner, one that would not only have purchasing power and management skills, but would also understand island ways.’
Mr. Bodden said they found such a store in Cost-U-Less, which has an abundance of island knowledge with five stores in the Caribbean and six in the Pacific.
‘They liked us and we liked them and here we are today, not a pharmacy, not a supermarket, not a pharmacy and supermarket, but an honest-to-goodness true super store.’
Cost-U-Less sells bulk goods, similar to other North American-style warehouse stores. However, it also sells fresh produce, fresh seafood and meats, appliances, clothes, tools and a variety of other products, all at competitive prices.
Mr. Bodden said Cost-U-Less could have been named Save-you-More.
‘The time we have chosen appears to be perfect because the high cost of living is the number one topic in the country,’ he said. ‘It is our intention to do something about that.’
On hand for the opening ceremonies was President and CEO Edward Kennedy of the Northwest Company, which bought Cost-U-Less earlier this year. Also speaking briefly was Cost-U-Less Vice President of Operations Brian Rose, who said the store was committed to providing ‘preferred brands, quality products, exceptional value and a quality shopping experience.’
Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts said he was quite impressed with the store and the entire Governors Square development
‘From a planning perspective, the trend of decentralizing from George Town is a positive one and developments like this bring not only competition but added convenience into the market place,’ he said. ‘Having a mix of stores in one location will save shoppers time and money, as they won’t need to make multiple errands.’
Mr. Tibbetts spoke, too, about the benefits of Cost-U-Less.
‘I’m certain though that Cost-U-Less’ competitive prices and range of product choices will be the most important draw to this location and will be popular with consumers, especially working families on the island,’ he said. ‘With the rising cost of living, Cost-U-Less brings choice, supply and family-sized bargains for shoppers.’
Mr. Tibbetts also said he hoped residents would realize that they now have plenty of choices of retailers on Cayman and that they spend their money on-island.
‘When you buy local you not only help local businesses and employ people on island, but you keep the cycle of prosperity in Cayman instead of circulating through shops in North America and elsewhere,’ he said.