he’S the man who transformed Edinburgh’s shopping experience, brought new designer labels to the city and attracted celebrities from all over the world.
But yesterday marked Gordon Drummond’s last day as the director of Harvey Nichols – one of the Capital’s most prestigious department stores.
Without Gordon and Harvey Nichols we would not have seen the renaissance of George StreetDonald Anderson
Mr Drummond, who has been the director of the St Andrew Square store for 13 years, said he was retiring and looking forward to new challenges.
He said: “Harvey Nichols has played its part in attracting designer fashion to the city.
“I think it’s shown people how to be stylish, and made people more confident to wear designer labels.
“Glasgow is a much larger city than Edinburgh, but Edinburgh offers a more niche outlook on shopping. We can buy more distinct outfits here and we don’t see everyone wearing the same thing.”
Mr Drummond, whose role will be taken over by Louise Masson from the Bristol branch, said his highlights included meeting Beyonce, the store’s tenth anniversary party and hosting the after-party for the musical We Will Rock You.
But he admitted that the biggest challenge was the construction of the trams outside the front door.
He said: “The trams did affect the business greatly, but we worked our way through it.
“In the end we came out stronger, and now the trams help with bringing more people to the store.
“I can only see it going from strength to strength.”
Mr Drummond said Harvey Nichols was the “catalyst” in bringing more fashion retailers to the city.
As the director said his goodbyes to his employees, former city leader Donald Anderson sang his praises and said Mr Drummond was responsible for the success of nearby George Street as a fashion haven.
He said: “Gordon’s contribution to retail in Edinburgh has been immense.
“In many ways, Gordon is to shopping in Edinburgh what Pete Irvine is to events, and his contribution to the city’s economy is no less significant.
“Before Harvey Nichols opened, the Edinburgh area lost 19 per cent of retail spend to Glasgow. This quickly fell to less than three per cent after Harvey Nichols opened.
“Without Gordon and Harvey Nichols we would not have seen the renaissance of George Street as a quality shopping destination, and a successful Harvey Nichols has been a key factor in helping secure the redevelopment of the St James Centre.
“And in addition to that, he’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met – the city owes him a great debt.”