IT was the humble old clothes store that Camilla, Duchess of Rothesay, gasped at in delight on a recent visit to Edinburgh.
There she snapped up a deep-purple ball gown for her daughter, Laura – a bargain at a mere £55.99.
But the Barnardo’s Vintage store in the Grassmarket is no more and will close its doors, to be split between two other city sites.
The charity said it is keen for the store to serve both sides of the city – at its shops in Stockbridge in the north and Newington in the south – and hopes to find new customers there.
Both stores will feature a substantial vintage section and benefit from being on major thoroughfares, the charity said.
The small Grassmarket store was catapulted into the limelight when the duchess visited in June. As president of children’s charity Barnardo’s, the duchess visited the store and was delighted to find a full-length ball gown for her daughter hidden amongst a host of Korean War bomber jackets and vintage gents’ suits.
The store will close next month, but the charity says it will save cash and be able to generate more by bringing new sought-after stock to the other shops.
Gerard Cousins, director of retail and trading at Barnardo’s, said: “Barnardo’s Retail is relocating their in-demand vintage clothes to high footfall areas, namely our Stockbridge and Nicolson Street stores.
“This will allow us to raise more funds to help vulnerable and disadvantaged children in Scotland.
“The Grassmarket vintage shop will be closing on September 16, and the remaining stock will be available at the new locations in coming weeks.”
Staff at the Barnardo’s Vintage store have spoken of coming across hidden gems in donations but, despite their value, often sell silk dresses and other items for just £50 or £60.
The store is popular with students from Edinburgh University and the nearby School of Art, along with city visitors.
The other stores will feature large sections for vintage clothes, and the charity hopes to continue the success of the Grassmarket premises.
Mr Cousins added: “We encourage the people of Edinburgh and fashion hunters alike to take advantage of our great-value vintage finds in the north and south of the city.”