Who Are the Local Partners in Cost-U-Less?

Former Prime Minister David Thompson (l) Former Chairman CLICO Holdings B'dos Ltd rumoured to be local partners in Cost-U-Less

Late Prime Minister David Thompson (l) disgraced former Chairman of CLICO Holdings B’dos Ltd rumoured to be local partners in Cost-U-Less

We do not charge membership fees and believe we can offer low prices to Barbados shoppers, just as we have in our most recent store opening in the Cayman Islands, which was also a partnership with local business people

NorthWest Company trading as Cost-U-Less July 2008

It has been almost five years from the time of the announcement Cost U Less Maybe Coming To Barbados that it launched in Barbados. However, based on consumer feedback the wait has been in vain.  It has been two months since launch and Barbadians continue to wait for the low prices promised. Before the coming of Cost-U-Less the Trinidadians, who now have a vice grip on our food retail and distribution channels, had promised Barbadian consumers the same, that is, we would benefit from economies of scale created by a larger T&T market.

Barbados now finds itself in a situation where we have a new entrant to an already competitive retail food sector.  And it has not demonstrated any appreciable price differentiation in its offering. Sad to say the inevitable must follow.  We created 200 jobs with the coming of Cost-U-Less but SuperCentre and DacostaMannings, owned by the Trinidadians, continue to send home employees.

It is unfortunate that Barbadians have not been made aware of who the local business people are in partnership with North West Company (Cost-U-Less). BU believes that if Barbadians were to be apprised of the names it would only serve as another opportunity to expose the hypocrisy, greed and naked opportunism which exist among people we hold in high regard.

The word making the rounds is that Leroy Parris, The Estate of the late David Thompson, Hartley Henry and Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit represent the local interest. These names will cause many to ask many questions.

For example:

  1. Why didn’t the BLP address this issue on the general election campaign just completed?
  2. Why is the estate of the late David Thompson taking forever to be probated?
  3. What were the considerations which motivated Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler to approve such generous concessions to a forex taker in a depressed consumer market?
  4. If Skerrit is so friendly with decision makers in Barbados why have we not been able to establish a bilateral trade agreement with Dominica which was promised when the 2008 Thompson government was ‘inaugurated’?
  5. What can we say about the Kingmaker?

What low prices what!

366 thoughts on “Who Are the Local Partners in Cost-U-Less?

  1. Piece……………I am just as much confused by it all as you, i been asking around and some indian female friends of mine said yes, their body hair grown just as long as what’s on their heads, if allowed……………i can’t explain it………

  2. @ Well Well, Piece, and anti-CUL people.
    I have thought a lot before I decided to write this piece (not uh de rock).I have weighed the pros and cons of all the discussion; looked at the arguments and contributions advocating non-support of this entity, and looked at the advantages of having this type of establishment in our midst. I contrasted the vehemence against the business as exemplified at the stated abhorrence of the involvement of politicians, to the claims that ‘taxpayers” money was being used. So I went to the universal source of and for information, the Internet. I looked at the background of the company; the American connection, and the local principal (apparently) shareholders. I made the comparison with one of the biggest buying clubs to educate myself on the origins and raison d’etre of these organizations. I discovered they all started with a desire of individuals to “lower the price of commodities. Then by accident I tuned in to CNBC (a great station with a program called “American Greed” that all contributors to BU should watch). the program that night was on COSTCO, a buying club with branches in Canada (as a matter of coincidence I got a brochure today from it, addressed to the previous occupant of my apartment, who was a member). I did not get on to the program at the begining so I went to the web address and watched the program from the beginning. VERY INTERESTING. We have a lot (positive) to learn, and we need to put our prejudices aside in the interest of the greater good. The web site is: Costcocraze@cnbc.com. Visit it.
    Now to Cost-U-less. Based on the objections raised in BU, there seem to be THREE main objections.1. The objection to David Thompson, Hartley Henry, and Leroy Parris, as major partners in the firm. 2. The fact that after two months in operation there has been no significant reduction in prices of food. 3.The fact that CUL were granted concessions (even though Price Smart-another buying club-also got major concessions), which it seems would put the major controllers of the retail trade at a disadvantage. (If there are more let me know.)
    Then I looked at the advantages of having this buying club and its contribution to the cost of living reduction.
    Advantages.(1) It would seem that because of the expressed desire of Government and citizens alike to encourage local farmers to increase productivity and sell locally, and encourage locals to eat more Bajan, the enterprise has made a commitment to farmers to buy their produce. This gives the farmers increased market share for their products.:result. reduction in loss of foreign exchange. 2,Decrease in foreign control of food and commodity supply.3.Economies of Scale will result in lower prices for some commodities, since the company, through its association with the larger company in the U.S. can obtain concessionary rates. 4. Another opportunity for local persons to “own” another Bajan enterprise.
    I rationalize that it is in our interest to see this company SUCCEED. We have had this crab in a barrell mentality for too long. What does it matter if David Thompson (now deceased,) Hartley Henry, or Leroy Parris have shares in the company? If I want a chicken or a radio, or a package of toilet paper, what should concern me is if the price is right. and if it is a choice of bigging up a Bajan company against a Trinidadian company, my choice should be the Bajan company whether I hate the owners or not. How come we don’t hate Trinidadians (owners of CL financial, CLICO and BS&T, Banks Holdings etc. I feel we should make every effort to be independent. Support Shop Smart, and Cost-u-Less; I won’t give my reasons for not also listing Price Smart; (I have to check out something first). I rationalized that if one thousand persons per month shopped at CUL, and each saved one hundred dollars, that is one hundred thousand dollars per month saved, or one million two hundred dollars saved per year through shopping CUL (A reduction in costs). .
    .If forty farmers were each to get their produce sold to this additional market, then failure to support the company will result in forty less farmers selling their produce and forty less farmers willing to grow food and making less money.
    . This is how I rationalize things, along (to me) a path that is based on common sense and not vindictive and petty party lines. How many of you bloggers know who are the principal shareholders in any of the places where you put your money; Banks, Stores etc. But yet you TRUST them all the time. Think!! (Not that some of you are not thinking, but too many put sentiment first.
    Tiefing from Elombe “Uh gone”

  3. Rosevelt Skerrit, Prime MInister of Dominica has called you a liar. Dominicans want you to defend the reputation of your paper. Could you convince Dominicans that you are infact telling the true story and that you are not just playing politics.

  4. Alvin wrote….”What does it matter if David Thompson (now deceased,) Hartley Henry, or Leroy Parris have shares in the company? If I want a chicken or a radio, or a package of toilet paper, what should concern me is if the price is right. and if it is a choice of bigging up a Bajan company against a Trinidadian company, my choice should be the Bajan company whether I hate the owners or not.”

    Alvin haven’t you ever heard of conflict of interest???? You seem to suffer with verbal diarrhoea on a regular basis. You seem not to know that the Trinis are also involved in CUL. Man you should cork it and stop messing up this place.

  5. Islandgal
    …you are a woman after Bushie’s own heart….(except for that 2X4 propensity of yours…. 🙂 )

  6. The people of Barbados have a right to know who owns any company the Government gives concessions to.

    Then again the people have been growing up stupid under the Union Jack so they are more interested in who bullinanwickin than how their taxes are managed.

  7. @David.
    You are wrong!!! Iam not and have never been Deputy chairman of anything. I am not now a member of any Constituency council. I am living in toronto and have been since last year.
    @Island Gal. Where is the conflict of Interest in Hartley Henry being a shareholder in a Buying club? Where is the conflict of interest if Leroy Parris is a shareholder in said buying club? David thompson is deceased. Cost-u-less was just recently opened. Enlighten me where the conflict of interest is. If Trinis are also involved in Cost-u-less, why was this never mentioned before? Is this selective disclosure; information that is purposely being withheld?
    @Hants. Why has this request NEVER made before for any of the hundredsof companies receiving concessions? Has anybody sought to find out the true owners of Apes Hill, Port St. Charles, Sandy Lane, All the concominiums on the West coast? Don’t be ridiculous.

  8. BU, for your information I am Dominican,therefore, I have read the article.Skeritt has called you a LIAR. It up to you to prove to Dominicans that you possess substantiated evidence that Skeritt has interest in the business.

  9. Alvin wrote “@Hants. Why has this request NEVER made before for any of the hundreds of companies receiving concessions?”

    It is irrelevant if it was done before.

    Why is it necessary to hide who has the major Investment in Costulessormore?

  10. Alvin………………….Pricemart has never hidden the players in their company, and they are on record as saying, in last week’s papers,they never received any concessions from government, and if they had they would welcome them.

    The issue is not politicians owning businesses in Bim, the issues are the lies, dishonesty, deceit practiced on the taxpayers and the secrets. Trinidadians never hide what companies they buy and sell, regardless of what happens in between, they are always upfront. Then there is the conflict of interest issues with the involvement of government ministers and the Leroy Parris involvement.

    By the way Alvin, if you live in Toronto, the weather was awesome yesterday, until after 4 when downtown started to freeze, the western area stayed warm until late though. Check the updated status of the CLICO enquiry soon to be criminal investigation below…………..

  11. I also have a serious problem with all the political protection Parris is being given by the administration when other jurisdictions are trying to clean up corruption and favoritism, remember most of the CLICO victims are very much alive…………………for years corruption has been the glue holding the political environment together in TT, now the taxpayers have had enough and are changing the landscape, why should politicians and their esteemed gentlemen friends in Barbados be given a free pass at the expense of taxpayers………..see articles below



    • BU challenges Skerrit and Parris and the David Thompson Estate and Hartley Henry to put pressure on Cost U Less to publish a list of its shareholders. Of course BU admits that with the opportunity to skulk behind foreign corporations local politicians can make ferreting them out of the woodwork a lifelong endeavour. This is especially so because we do not have transparency legislation in many Caribbean jurisdictions. Then there is a moribund court system. We have not even touched being able to serve the bastards in another jurisdiction.

  12. Now that Skerritt has put in his two cents worth of denial it wouldn.t be long before other names mentioned followed same path..However information of such nature can be problematic especially for those in leadership position in high level of government even though it might not be illegal.. Suffice it to say that a denial is not enough but showing or presentation of proof would be the only proper thing to do.

  13. Gone are the days when taxpayers take verbal denials from politicians at face value, they lie too much………….

  14. @David. I am glad that you corrected the error you made. You left it up to the reader to go to the web site. for the people who will not take the time to go especially Island Gal, the Deputy Chairman of the Christ church west Constituency Council was Rev. DeVere Murrell. I resigned from the council, as an ordinary member, in September last year, to come to toronto. I might add that I was proud to serve on the council, to understand its functions and to serve and interact with a cross section of wonderpeople who served (emphasis on served) on the council. A lot of good work was dond for the constituents under its jurisdiction.My good wishes for the members of the new council.
    @well Well. So many questions to answer. I use my full name because (a) I have been writing letters of protest, praise and so on to the newspapers for a number of years now. I have always used my full name every time because I am not afraid to be known.(2) I feel I have a duty to inform on any subject with which I am familiar and may have an opinion (3) I am not afraid, not do I have anything to hide. The weather was indeed awsome. I felt like a free man because for the first time since November I was able to go outside without a coat (light or heavy) and feel the waarmth of he sun. The wind still had a chill in it though. I went to the website of the trinidad Express and feel vindicated. All the time people have tried to brow-beat me when I pointed out that the major person in the CLICO debacle was Duprey, I was laughed at but as stated in the Express: ” Mr Duprey was in fact the head of the CLICO empire. He was the executive chairman of CL Financial and chairman of CLICO. This description is therefore justified and fairly obvious to the average man-in-the-street”. Note also that Mr. Duprey, living in Florida, has refused to come to the Commission of Inquiry. We’ll see how that plays out. However people still can’t get it through their heads that Leroy Parris is a private citizen, holding no political office, even though he might have political friends and acquaintances. He has not been charged with any offence so you cannot blithely say that he is “given protection” by the estalishment. Looking forward to better (warmer) weather, from here on in.

  15. Bajans not going to side with your explanation about LP .they believe that this as they called LP “dumb nobody ” was able to steal milions of dollars right under the nose of the Head Honchoos of such a vast Empire .

  16. Alvin…………..the weather in Toronto is awesome today as well, the wind chill sneaks in around 4 o’clock……….

    It’s good to contribute, changes may be made where you actually see a difference.

    With regard to Duprey……….Trinis want to see action for their losses and the government will have to comply, no choice. Naturally, Duprey will also have to answer questions on why millions went missing from CLICO Barbados, i don’t see him protecting anyone because they stole 70 or 100 million more on top of the 1 billion (just an ex ample) Duprey made vanish, just because it was a smaller amount does not mean he will go down alone for the whole kit and kaboodle, don’t think he was that much in love with anyone except himself, remember the executives are being summons one by one to explain the irregularities under their directions……………it is a mess of gigantic proportions.

    AC…………………and Bajans should not let this slide because he is friend of the PM and other ministers, it would be setting a bad precedent.

  17. Perhaps the time has come for BIPA and June Fowler to start throwing its wait around. They should ask CUL who are the local shareholders. If there is the allegation that Parris and the Estate of Thompson are shareholders then it is difficult to expect CUL to earn the goodwill necessary for a successful business.

  18. I’ve said many times before that Skerrit will continue to get away with all the accusations and allegations of corruption because Dominicans allow it. If he was in any other Caribbean country in the region, he’d be investigated. But today, what use to be wrong, is now right and right is wrong in Dominica. He has the support of a few corrupt and despicable lawyers who continue to manipulate the judicial system.

  19. It’s like an epidemic of corruption prevailing throughout the small islands, the taxpayers have to make a stand………

    I hope that the CLICO policy holder’s lawyers are watching the unfolding saga in Trinidad and are aware they may very well have to join whatever class action lawsuit or relief is available for Barbados Clico policy holders in the best interest of these victims and don’t wait until they hear that the statutes of limitations (if any) have run out in Trinidad. It’s beginning to sound as though because CL Financial is the owner of subsidiary CLICO, that is where all the action is right now.

  20. You people talk sh..t wunna know how much it cost to go up against them colassal giants, I meaning wunna talking like if CLICO is a small mom and pop shop in the village. This corporation is worldwide and have lawyers the size of a football field . wunna really should stop fooling the people about getting back money from CLICO. . Look how duprey tell the Enquiry to go F..ck themselves.Barbados fighting Clico… June Fowler throwing what weight around don’t mek me laugh.
    The only way Bajans going to recoup money is if the taxpayers of Barbados give it and it not going to happen. !

  21. ac you almost sound triumphalist. You are happy, aren’t you, that your party allowed the perpetrators of this fraud to get away with it? The ultimate, down and dirty yardfowl.

  22. @Alvin – it’s BECAUSE Parris has political friends that he hasn’t been charged with anything, and you know it. Another triumphalist yardfowl.

  23. Why ac..don’t talk rass….Have you not heard Duprey now on a TT Most Wanted poster…..How you mean I not getting back my $34 Million?….Woman ya mean you leave a comfy armchair and prefer a toliet seat ?…..If not me my grans are entitled to my hard earned Mo money…

  24. On the upside….wonda when Parris gine Underground?….. Peter wait ..Peter wait….Look Mr. Greenverbs at the gate…..Mighty Shadow…me thinks !…fire go burn nuff a bottie man….wanna wait…Fire in Goat mout.. late Penguin…right Sarge….Dennis johnson..jump in nah..help a fella..FIREWORKS…

  25. CLICO is not world wide, it’s a Caribbean company…………..Duprey’s ass is already becoming financially strapped…………CL Financial is now owned by the government of Trinidad & Tobago……………neither Duprey nor Parris is involved with the company anymore unless it’s to serve time in prison………..get the facts straight, one way or another those two will pay,

  26. AC…………..as usual, you did not read nor comprehend the article in it’s entirety, i copied the parts that are factual and important.

    “According to Neiwirth, if CLICO (Trinidad) wants to pursue a discovery of documents, it will now have to take it up with Bahamian courts”.

    “The general ruling is that the bankruptcy discovery rules don’t extend to third-party problems,” he said. “And this is really a quintessential third-party problem”

    To break it down for you, CL Financial Trinidad will now have to go through the Bahamian courts, which are the proper channels for discovery, not through a third party, you will have to google third party, i can’t be bothered………………

  27. AC…………………………now we are on the same page CL Financial is/was a worldwide insurance company, not CLICO, it’s subsidiary.

    Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO) by Cyril Duprey, it was expanded into a diversified company by his nephew, Lawrence Duprey. CL Financial then became one of the largest local conglomerates in the region, encompassing over 65 companies in 32 countries worldwide with total assets exceeding US$100 billion.[1]

  28. If the Trinidad government is looking into the Bahamas CLICO operations, naturally they should be looking into the Barbados operations eventaully as well………….as long as it enters the court system for discovery, it will take on a gorillaphant life of it’s own………….the TT government has more to gain than lose by settling with CLICO regional policyholders.

  29. And besides, the Barbados government under Thompson, lawyer for CLICO, should have considered the impending ramifications before falling into bed with CLICO and Parris, pun not intended.

  30. Pingback: Did Honourable Member Chris Sinckler Deliver a Terminological Inexactitude? | Barbados Underground

  31. BU do you know for sure if DT, HH,LP, and RS are indeed shareholders in Cost-U-Less? BWU has single them out for union busting. Is Cost-U-Less using its alleged DLP connections to deny workers the right to unionized? Or is Toni Moore being used by Charles Herbert and Mia Mottley to target a DLP source of election funding? Maybe both?

    • We cant know for sure given how companies can mask their shareholders under the Companies Act but local knowledge suggest there is a connection.

  32. @ David
    We can’t know for sure given how companies can mask their shareholders under the Companies Act…
    Another great understatement of biblical proportions….

    Our ‘Companies Act’ is a piece of garbage, specifically written by crooked lawyers with the expressed intent of hiding the identity of shareholders of Companies registered in Barbados.

    While a big song and dance is made of the ‘directors’ of a company, (and we all know that “directors” can just be a bunch of lackies for sale – like we had with CLICO) … there is NO attempt to identify the actual SHAREHOLDERS – who front the money,…call the shots and who are the ACTUAL puppet masters.

    This ‘Company’s Act’ is used by lawyers to hide assets from the public, from the taxman, from the courts, and from personal responsibility.

    The most amazing aspect of the whole scam…is that no one complains about the lotta shiite.
    ….and now you categorise the shiite as ‘masking shareholders’….

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