John Lewis Edinburgh

St James Centre, Edinburgh EH1 3SP, Scotland, UK
0131 556 9121
No votes yet
Report this page
Javascript is required to view this map.

John Lewis Edinburgh

John Lewis` first foothold in Scotland was acquired in 1943 when the Partnership bought the Silk Shop in Frederick Street, Edinburgh. The Silk Shop had been started in 1922 by a Mr W A Brearly and specialised in dress fabrics, soft furnishings and haberdashery. By John Lewis standards it was small - a forty-foot frontage and two floors of selling space - but, only a few steps from Princes Street, it was well situated.

In the following years the Silk Shop became an Edinburgh institution and it was quite normal for customers to have to queue to get into the shop on a Saturday morning. Despite its size, the range of fabrics and haberdashery items it carried was extensive and it was a well known fact that `if you couldn`t get it at the Silk Shop, you couldn`t get it in Edinburgh.

Every bit of space was utilised to accommodate the products and, as one Partner at the time recalled, `A bit of floor space was at such a premium that you tried not to move in case you lost it. In short, the premises had reached saturation point. In January 1968, it was announced that the Partnership was to open a department store in the largest unit in the proposed St. James Centre, news that met with universal approval.

However, it was not until August 1973 that 90 Silk Shop Partners joined their 500 new colleagues in John Lewis Edinburgh. The shop had four floors carrying the Partnership`s full range of merchandise, including, of course, all the products previously stocked at the Silk Shop, and boasted a restaurant with magnificent views of the Firth of Forth and the hills of Fife beyond. The shop was a success from the first day, when customers queued twenty deep at the main entrances, waiting for the doors to open. In fact so well did it do that lack of space became a problem once more. This was solved in 1988 when an extension was opened which increased the shop`s selling space by fifty per cent.

2001 saw the announcement of a major £25 million overhaul of the shop. The project refitted every department over a space of 18 months, and created a state-of-the-art John Lewis department store, equipped to meet the needs of 21st century shoppers.

As you visit 'John Lewis Edinburgh', you may find interest in following listings . . .