Makin’ Waves to move to new Church Street home – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Makin’ Waves to move to new Church Street home

After 23 years, retailer Makin’ Waves is leaving its Front Street location for a new, much larger store that will cater even more to the local market.

The retailer of apparel, swimwear, surf and water sports gear is moving into the soon-to-be-vacated Bermuda Gas showroom and bill payment centre on Church Street, which will give it about 3,200 square feet of retail space compared to the 2,200 square feet it has now.

Makin’ Waves’ Front Street location will close at the end of October and won’t reopen until next spring in its new location. The Dockyard store will remain open as usual. The St George’s store was closed due to the lack of a regular cruise ship.

Makin’ Waves co-owner Stuart Joblin said with the extra floor space, the store planned to stock a wider range of dive and water sports equipment including the now popular stand-up paddle boards, plus additional up-and-coming casual clothing lines and new plus-size apparel.

He said there will also be room to store more stock, currently kept at a separate warehouse outside Hamilton.

Mr Joblin said the company had carried out a lengthy and exhaustive search for a new location after landlord Freisenbruch-Meyer Group gave it notice that it wanted to take over the ground floor retail space which is its current home.

Freisenbruch-Meyer told

The Royal Gazette in March that the company planned to expand into the ground floor of its premises this November to provide better visibility and access to customers.

Mr Joblin said despite months of searching for a new space, it was not able to find anywhere suitable on Front Street, where it preferred to remain. He added Freisenbruch-Meyer had been very cooperative in terms of giving it sufficient notice.

When he and partner Douglas Patterson eventually heard the Bermuda Gas space was coming up, they decided it may be best to try a new location and expand in the process.

He added that one drawback of the Front Street location was it probably being a little too far east in Hamilton for locals to walk to from the city centre.

“We really wanted to be on Front Street but there was nothing of a sufficient size that we could make work,“ he said. “We have been here almost 25 years and have seen a lot of change in retail. Business has dropped off from tourists and there are definitely fewer local residents around. It has been challenging”

“Where we are moving we expect there will be a lot more local traffic so we plan to try to better serve the local market in terms of water sports equipment and clothing.”

Mr Joblin said he did not expect to have to lay off any staff.

Makin’ Waves has occupied its 75 Front Street location since 1988.

Moving soon: Stuart Joblin of Makin Waves. The retailer will end a 23-year stint on Front Street when it relocates next year.

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Published August 31, 2011 at 10:39 am (Updated August 31, 2011 at 10:39 am)

Makin’ Waves to move to new Church Street home

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