Here are the 11 stores most likely to leave Princes Street for the new St James Quarter

Property experts have highlighted 11 Princes Street shops which are highly likely to be lured to the new £850 million St James Quarter when it opens next year.
The shopping part of the new St James Quarter is expected to open next October.The shopping part of the new St James Quarter is expected to open next October.
The shopping part of the new St James Quarter is expected to open next October.

It comes as part of an Evening News investigation published today which revealed serious concerns about the future of shopping on Scotland’s most famous shopping street.

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Princes Street is facing an ‘exodus of shops’

Industry experts have studied factors such as breaks in shop leases and the profile of stores which the St James is likely to target.

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Based on their analysis, here is a list of the Princes Street stores classed as ‘highly likely’ to move to the St James development;

Kiko Milano


Russell & Bromley




River Island

New Look

Mountain Warehouse

Pride of Scot

Royal Bank of Scotland

Property experts have also identified a further 19 Princes Street stores that they think could also be lured to the new precincts in the east end.

With St James bidding to attract any new stores which might move into the Capital, and the pull of John Lewis, concerns are growing about what might replace any stores which decided to leave.

One industry source told the Evening News: “The big fear is that you will end up with a wave of empty units or a wave of tartan tat shops. With the £150m Johnnie Walker whisky centre opening in the old Frasers building there will be lots of tourists in the West End, so tartan tat is the obvious thing.

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“They will be the only shops which will be able to afford the rents.”

The opening of the St James will see a fifth of Edinburgh’s shop floor space move to the new quarter, making that the undoubted core shopping area, ahead of Princes Street or George Street.

There has been talk for many years of the need for the city council to update its shopping policies to allow Princes Street and the West End to diversify, with perhaps top floor and ground floor restaurants on Princes Street, and other non-retail uses being encouraged. However, despite fast changes in consumer behaviour, the council has yet to show any sign of keeping up.

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