Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative (EBC), Scotland’s biggest chain of bike shops plans to double in size by 2017, grow it’s workforce from 160 to nearly 300 (all have a share in the company) and increase turnover to £20m. That is what Jeremy Miles, Managing Director of the Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op Jeremy Miles will be telling the Scottish launch of the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives this Thursday.
The EBC announcement is yet another sign of the continued health and growth of the UK cycling economy. Last summer a report by the London School of Economics that estimated the UK’s ‘Gross Cycling Product’ contributed £2.9bn to the UK economy with the retail sector turning over £2.47bn annually. Despite the economic difficulties now facing the country, the UK’s cycling economy is forecast to keep on growing.
EBC won’t need any introduction to our North of the Border readers or even those in the North of England these days, having sold £11.5m of cycling goods in 2011 including 20,000 bikes through the original shop in Edinburgh plus five others in Aberdeen, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield as well as through its successful online operation www.edinburghbicycle.com. EBC has also enjoyed success with its in-house Revolution brand of well priced, well specced bikes and accessories.
The first store opened as a co-op in Edinburgh in 1977 with the staff owning a share of the business once they had completed an induction period. To this day, employees are invited to become members of the co-op after a year’s ‘apprenticeship’.