Needless to say, the very weirdest couple of years.
The early days of the pandemic brought challenges we had never expected – being responsible for public health in a new, and honestly, quite frightening way. We also experienced proper panic buying for the first time; not just a phrase, the panic was really palpable, and had quite a tough impact on all of us in the building.
As we adapted to the new normal, more upheaval came along in the form of our long-awaited extension and refurbishment. Badly needed, and eagerly anticipated, but very disruptive – for us and for you! And as these things so often do, it took longer than expected. We closed for two weeks – the first ever closure in Unicorn’s history. When we re-opened, the shop floor was cramped for a while, and combined with the Covid queuing system it all made for a bit of a strange shopping experience. But better days were coming!
We celebrated the end of the refurb on our 25th birthday in September 2021. We’d done what we set out to do – created more light, more space, more joy, and more bikes (we’d hugely expanded bike parking as part of our strategic aim to increase cycle journeys) – and the grand reopening was a very happy day for us all. Loads of Black Cat cake, speeches, a brass band, a DJ, free Tibetan Kitchen food, a quiz with giveaways from SolidariTee, and SUNSHINE… it felt like an oasis of joy amidst some darker days.