Jenners set to leave iconic Princes Street store
The Edinburgh Evening News revealed on Tuesday morning that historic brand Jenners was set to leave its iconic Princes Street store which had occupied for over 180 years.
The Jenners brand name is set to disappear from its iconic Princes Street location as the building’s Danish billionaire owner unveils plans to reinvent the historic building
Founded in 1838, Jenners is one of the oldest department stores in the world to continuously trade from the same site. After the original Jenners building was destroyed by a fire in 1892, architect William Hamilton Beattie designed the current building on Princes Street in the Victorian renaissance revival style.
The new building opened in 1895 and was extended in 1903. Further extensions were conducted in the 1950s and 1960s. Beattie’s building was designed following the latest European trends of retail as a leisure pursuit.
New technological innovations allowed for the construction of taller buildings, large uninterrupted floor plates, new hydraulic lifts and plate large plate glass windows. The new retail experience was thus organised to maximize the exposure of the retail displays and to elevate the shopping experience.
You can read more about the history of the brand HERE
When are Jenners set to vacate the building?
Jenners, who are currently owned by Sports Direct retail mogul Mike Ashley, could potentially move out in 2020/21, according to the owners of the building.
What does the future hold for such a historic landmark?
Plans for the building will see a hotel, cafes and rooftop restaurant and bar replace the existing department store alongside a potential raft of mid-range to luxury shops linked to his clothing empire Bestseller.
The project’s plans include a “total restoration” of the Category A listed building’s facade including the sensitive reinstatement of lost original elements.
The owner of the building, a real estate company, owned by Anders Holch Povlsen and architect firm David Chipperfield Architects say that they share the ambition of bringing the iconic Jenners Building into a new era.
They aspire to return the building to its original glory and quality, recreating the feeling of a grand department store, while also adding new modern facilities – such as a hotel, cafés and restaurants – to the mix.
One of the highlights of the restoration, according to the designers, will be the central atrium – a three-storey, top-lit grand saloon, which will be returned to its former splendour. The Victorian façade will be carefully and completely restored, while the 1966 extension that faces onto St David Street will receive a new façade, which respects the older
sections of the Jenners Building.
The building’s parapet will be extended and the roofscape will be tidied as part of plans for a rooftop restaurant and bar overlooking St Andrew’s Square. The rooftop will also include a private terrace for the hotel’s corner suite, which will have views of the iconic Edinburgh Mound and Arthur’s Seat.
The Jenners Building combines two listings – 47-52 Princes Street and 2-20 Rose Street – and totals almost 17,500m2 across nine floors. The proposed development will comprise 10,000m2 hotel space and 7,000m2 retail space, as well as cafés and restaurants.
With careful insertion of modern infrastructure and circulation, the project will revive the building’s standing in Edinburgh’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed New Town.
Who is building owner Anders Holch Povlsen?
Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen, who is reportedly worth £4.5bn, bought the much-loved Princes Street property back in 2017 for a reported £50m.
He is the CEO and sole owner of the international clothes retailer chain Bestseller, a company founded by his parents, the largest shareholder in the British internet clothes retailer Asos.com, and second-largest in German internet clothes retailer Zalando.
What has the project manager said?
Project manager Anders Krogh emphasises that although the project includes plans for stores, a hotel and a restaurant, it will not be a classic developer project, with future operators and tenants lined up in advance.
The starting point is renovation and development of the fantastic buildings with the aim of creating the best possible framework for future users.
“The project is first and foremost about helping to preserve a unique historic building in Edinburgh. We are pursuing the project because we have a passion for architecture and historical buildings. Already when we acquired the building, we knew that it came with a great deal of responsibility. Jenners is an iconic building in Edinburgh, and we take the responsibility of renovating it very seriously, ”explains Project Manager Anders Krogh.
Architects: David Chipperfield Architects
Owner: Anders Holch Povlsen
Size: 17,476 m2
Expected project start date: 2021