St James Quarter Edinburgh: How many shops will open today? What can we expect?

The St James Quarter will be opening its doors in Edinburgh for the first time on Thursday (June 24).

By Liv McMahon
Monday, 21st June 2021, 4:31 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th June 2021, 11:47 am

The St James Quarter is Edinburgh’s largest development in a generation. It has gradually taken shape over the last few years in the space freed up by the demolition of the old St James Centre, which closed its doors in October 2016.

Now the £1 billion project and its 850,000 sq ft of retail space are nearing completion.

When is St James Quarter opening?

St James Quarter Edinburgh: How many shops will open today? What can we expect? Picture: Ian Georgeson

The much awaited shopping centre in the heart of the Capital will be revealed for Phase One of its planned opening today, on Thursday June 24.

Having been delayed by the impact of the pandemic and Covid restrictions, the St James Quarter is finally set to open its doors to customers eager to see what’s in store at Edinburgh’s go-to shopping district and food and drink destination.

How many shops are now open?

With the St James Quarter opening in Edinburgh for Phase One this week, only some of its shops, restaurants and facilities will be unveiled on this date.

Over 40 of the site's shops, entertainment venues and food and drink outlets are set to open on Thursday. Picture: Handout

But a wide range of new stores – including new Scottish flagship sites for top fashion retailers – will be opening their doors.

Among those set to launch their first Scottish sites in the Quarter are Bershka, & Other Stories, Stradivarius and Calvin Klein.

They will be joined by former cycling start-up and now sports giant Peloton, who are set to reveal a new high-tech showroom at the development and expand on their growing retail empire.

Overall, almost 40 new shops will be opening on Thursday in addition to a whole host of food and drink outlets, with Bross Bagels, Salerno Pizza, Tortilla and Five Guys due to open in the Bonnie & Wild Scottish food marketplace.

The site set to be Scotland’s largest single food and drink space in the form of a 16,600 square foot marketplace will host a variety of cuisines and top names like Scotland’s national chef Gary Maclean.

This is in addition to a 19,000 square foot bowling and gaming site from Lane 7.

What can we expect?

Ahead of the opening, the site held a dazzling light show last week (June 17) to kickstart the seven day countdown to Thursday and highlight the buzz around the development which has been five years in the making.

The opening of the site is spearheading high hopes for the recovery of the capital’s retail, food and drink and tourism sectors which have been devastated by the impact of the pandemic.

The St James Quarter’s aim of ushering in a post-pandemic, new age approach to retail is also set to be on show with sites such as Sook’s ‘co-retail’ space opening this week, allowing local brands, independent business owners and pop-ups to rent their high-footfall location by the hour.

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Further phases of opening will later see the arrival of the Quarter’s apartments, the boutique W Hotel, bars, restaurants and shops, but Phase One is nevertheless set to entice a range of customers with its diversity of food, fashion and fitness offerings.

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