The Brandon location for a non-profit social enterprise is among a handful of stores that are to remain open following the recently announced intention of its parent to cease corporate operations in Canada.
Ten Thousand Villages announced on Tuesday that it will be ending Canadian corporate operations including closing its Canadian head office, Ontario distribution centre, wholesale operations and Canadian online store. As a result, 10 company-operated stores in the country will close by May 29 including two in Winnipeg. Eight separate independently-owned stores including Brandon will however continue to operate under the Ten Thousand Villages name.
In a local press release shared on Thursday, Brandon store manager Meeghan Gavin spoke to the need for further support going forward.
“We are pleased that we will be able to continue providing Fair Trade products to our customers”, Gavin stated. “But we want to be honest with our customers that we will need additional community support to remain a viable Fair Trade store. The changing retail market has made it increasingly difficult for many smaller retailers, including Ten Thousand Villages Brandon, to remain profitable.”
Ten Thousand Villages focuses on selling products created by artisans in developing countries through fair-trade relationships. The local store offers products from a regularly changing inventory. Its top seller locally has been fair trade coffee from six different countries including Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Congo, Ethiopia and Tanzania. Also popular have been varieties of chocolate from an assortment of developing countries and items made from recycled material such as kitchenware, jewelry and home decor. Coffee varieties are expected to remain the same going forward with there being the possibility for new varieties of chocolate as arrangements with suppliers are worked out.
The Brandon store is located at 829 Rosser Avenue. Its hours are 10am to 5:30pm from Monday through Friday and Saturday from 10am to 5pm.
Ten Thousand Villages was established in 1946 and has been in operation from its Rosser Avenue location in Brandon for 30 years.
Further details on the Canadian corporate closure can be learned at https://www.tenthousandvillages.ca/Closure-Information