Keturaja and Aryajaya write from Windhorse:Evolution with news of two new shop openings in the UK. Windhorse:Evolution is the largest and most profitable of Triratna’s Right Livelihood businesses, employing over 200 people. They say - “We have always aimed to make a profit to give away as dana, and since Windhorse started in 1980 have donated over £5 million pounds to many different projects in the Triratna Buddhist Community. Trading conditions have been difficult since the UK’s recession, but despite that we opened two new Evolution shops last month! Our new Leicester shop opened on the 21st October, and a second shop in Nottingham opened on the 29th. Opening these is part of our strategy to expand our retail operation. Our strategy is to focus on opening shops in large cities in the UK, especially those with universities, who have a larger than average young population. From past experience all these factors support the success of an evolution shop
Although its still very early days, the Leicester shop has performed very well so far. This is very encouraging given all the effort, from so many people, that has gone into opening the shop - those involved included the retail team, the property team, the warehouse team and of course the new shop itself led by its manager Neil. It has been very impressive how everyone in the business has gone out of their way to support this new venture. The fit-out project was beset with various difficulties including several power cuts and a missing front door! Due to difficulties in getting vacant possession of the property, the start date had to be changed several times. All very stressful for those involved. Despite all these difficulties the shop has now opened and looks great. It has been fitted out to a very high standard and has attracted a lot of interest from the residents of Leicester. The shop is in a very prominent location, opposite Marks and Spencer and close to Leicester’s central clock tower.
In Nottingham, trading is going okay for the first few days of a new shop. We are situated in the main shopping mall of Nottingham town centre, the Victoria Centre, which is a very busy shopping centre for the whole region. So we are expecting trade to pick up quickly as we move towards Christmas. The shop is being overseen by Trevor, manager of the existing Nottingham shop—we plan to run the two shops in tandem for some months until we have to hand back the premises of the older Nottingham shop next year”.