Shoppers try out the new self-service Co-operative in Gilmerton in August 1960.
Shoppers try out the new self-service Co-operative in Gilmerton in August 1960.

Edinburgh's shops over the years: These 25 pictures show how shopping in the Capital has changed since the 1950s and 1960s

Edinburgh has long been a magnet for shoppers, but half a century ago the city’s retail sector looked very different to today.

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 11:24 am

If you wanted to buy something – from a new shirt to a radio – in the Scottish Capital in the 1950s or 1960s you didn’t have the option of ordering over the internet, or even popping to an out-of-town shopping centre.

Even mail order shopping was restricted to a handful of companies, like Littlewoods, bringing items to your doorstep.

In the main a trip to the city centre was required to satisfy your consumer urges – a journey to Princes Street, Lothian Road, Leith Walk, or one of Edinburgh’s other shopping areas.

The 1950s and 1960s was a time of new inventions, electrical gadgets, contemporary fashion, and changing habits – grocery stores were just starting to embrace ‘self service’, where customers picked up items themselves to bring to the till to pay.

And it was the golden age of the department store, with numerous huge shops in Edinburgh selling anything and everything you could need – the most famous example being the much-missed Jenners.

Here are 25 pictures to take you back to those days.

Read more:

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.

Page 1 of 6