Christmas has come early for bargain hunters in the Capital after Primark announced its eagerly anticipated Princes Street store is to open in time for festive shopping.
Spread over five floors, the shop – which will be the discount retail giant’s flagship store in Scotland – is to open its doors on Saturday, December 10.
The news comes despite fears this week that the opening would be pushed back.
Graham Birse, managing director of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said excitement was building ahead of the new store opening.
He said: “This is going to give Princes Street a lift and shoppers the chance to get some early Christmas bargains.
“It will be good for the city centre as it will act as a magnet – the city centre needs that at this time – and it will also benefit neighbouring shops in Rose Street.
“Shoppers who may have gone west to get to Primark may well now come to Edinburgh instead.”
The new Primark has been built on the site of the former Marks and Spencer building and is set to provide 450 jobs.
It follows one of the biggest construction projects in the city centre for a generation.
The design includes a new pedestrian link between Princes Street and Rose Street as well as new views on to Edinburgh Castle, which have been opened up to shoppers for the first time.
Councillor Tom Buchanan, convener of economic development at the city council, said: “I’m absolutely delighted. I’m certain this will give the shoppers in Edinburgh a boost because there is another retailer which has opened on Princes Street.”
A spokesman for Primark, which is also set to open at The Centre in Livingston before Christmas and plans a store at the Gyle, said: “We wanted to ensure that the store was up and running in time for the festive season, so that shoppers in the Capital could have the chance to visit during the run-up to Christmas.
“With five floors of retail space, we will be able to stock a fabulous, extensive range of Primark clothing for men, women, children and homewear.
“We know there is a huge demand for a Primark in Edinburgh and we have planned to open a flagship outlet in the city for many years – so we’re delighted to have finally made this vision a reality.
“We believe we have created a contemporary building which is sympathetic to the historic nature of the location and is in keeping with the Georgian and Victorian facades on either side of us.
“This store will not only create hundreds of new jobs for Edinburgh and provide an important addition to the council’s ‘string of pearls’ vision for Princes Street, but we hope it will also prove very popular among shoppers and retailers.”
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