Forever Edinburgh is a travesty for struggling shops - Kevin Buckle

With the cancellation of note-0 the note-1 winter festivities,note-2 some were quick to point out that I would now get my wish and Edinburgh’s shops would need to rely on the lure of what Edinburgh has to offer all year roundnote-3.
Harvey Nichols in St Andrews Square, EdinburghHarvey Nichols in St Andrews Square, Edinburgh
Harvey Nichols in St Andrews Square, Edinburgh

There was of course one very important proviso: the council needed to successfully promote Edinburgh as a shopping destination as well as one with many attractions.

Luckily, or so I thought, there is a website for this purpose. Forever Edinburgh helps people plan their time in Edinburgh covering hotels, food and drink, shopping and things to do while reassuring folk it is safe

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I didn’t have high hopes as I clicked on the shopping option but had no idea how bad it would be. The site’s entire shopping recommendations consist of 11 luxury and lifestyle retailers based in Frederick Street, Hanover Street, Rose Street and George Street plus Harvey Nichols. That’s it! To rub salt in the wounds of every Edinburgh retailer the content creator’s contempt is completed by providing a link to The List magazine of shops within a five-mile radius of Edinburgh. It’s not good.

Normally I would have waited a week to find out more about who is behind this website but frankly every week matters this close to Christmas.The site is provided by The Lane Agency and Forever Edinburgh is the responsibility of Marketing Edinburgh both of whom I contacted to find out who was behind the content but as yet I have not had a reply.

But the blame extends well beyond those responsible for the content to all twho have overseen this project or been asked their opinion and said nothing.

Normally when I put the column on Twitter and tag people it is simply in the hope they see something I think will be relevant to them. This week, though, I will attempt to get comments from all involved to see what can be done about this complete disregard for the retailers of Edinburgh.

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I’ve no idea how much people have been paid for this or what the overall budget was but this is symptomatic of the wider belief among those in the tourist industry that all they need to do is bring visitors here and they will as a matter of course shop. They are wrong.

This website is a travesty for Edinburgh retail and the fact it has gone unchallenged so far does not bode well for the future and the much needed support that is required in the coming months. More on this next week I’m sure.

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