Bowring Brothers

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Bowring Brothers, Limited
Industry Shipping
Founded St. John's Newfoundland, Canada (1811)
Founder Benjamin Bowring
Headquarters St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Key people
Charles T. Bowring
Edward Bowring
Henry Bowring
John Bowring
Derrick Bowring
Products Historical: Shipowners, fish and general merchants, steamship agents
Present: Gifts and home decor
Bowring Brothers Shop, Water Street, St. John's, ca. 1892

Bowring Brothers, Limited (or simply Bowring) is an operator of retail stores, mostly focused on gifts and home decor, throughout Canada.

Bowring was formed in 1811 as a private company by Benjamin Bowring and his family, who had just moved to St. John's, Newfoundland. Benjamin Bowring, an English clockmaker, set up shop in that business, while his wife Charlotte established a dry goods store which evolved into a large department store on Water Street.[1]

Flag of Bowring Brothers

Bowring Brothers was later engaged as a shipowner, fish and general merchant, and steamship agent. From 1811 to date Bowring Brothers has been continuously[citation needed] engaged in Newfoundland's commerce, and at its peak the company had various operations on a global scale.

After World War II, the company focused on its retail business, including the department store in St. John's and a chain of over 100 gift shops in shopping malls across Canada and the US.[1][2] The Bowring family sold the chain to new owners in the late 1980s or early 1990s, following which the St. John's store closed, leaving Bowring without any retail presence in the province for over a decade. In the early 2000s, Bowring began to shift its energy towards a series of "home stores" in power centres across Canada, currently numbering 34 - including one in St. John's - but continues to operate 31 mall stores in larger centres.

Fred Benitah, Owner and Chief executive officer of the privately owned home-goods retailer Benix & Company, Inc. (based in Toronto, Ontario), purchased the insolvent Bowring Brothers chain in October 2005. Fred Benitah and his brother Isaac Benitah together privately controlled a number of retailers including Fairweather, International Clothiers and Benix & Co.[3]

After U.S. retailer Bombay Company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on September 20, 2007, the U.S. business operations and inventory were acquired by a joint venture of Gordon Brothers Retail Partners, LLC and Hilco Merchant Resources, LLC. on October 12, 2007 (with a plan to liquidate Bombay's U.S. stores) while Bombay's Canadian operations (after inventory disposition) were acquired by Bowring and Benix & Company.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bowring - About Archived July 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Bowring, Derrick (2015). Down to Bowring's: A Memoir. Creative Publishers. p. 133.
  3. ^ Stauss, Marina. "Brothers' Bowring bid a sign of growing clout on retail scene". Retrieved 30 October 2012. 

External links[edit]