Kevin Buckle: Americans easily spot Edinburgh’s shopping problem

Victoria Street has some nice shops, in contrast to other parts of Edinburgh
Victoria Street has some nice shops, in contrast to other parts of Edinburgh
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An older American couple managed to make three of the points that crop up regularly in my column in one short conversation.

I was on my way to Central Library this week and was stopped by them outside the Bank of Scotland on the corner. “Sir, can you tell us where the shops are nearby or do we have to go to Princes Street?” What sort of shops, I asked.

“Just different shops. Those ones we’ve just passed (points to High Street) are all the same.” Just take a walk down Victoria Street, there are nice shops there and that will take you to the Grassmarket I replied. “Grassmarket? Is that a market? A nice market would be good too?”

No, it’s shops and places you can eat but if you keep going and walk down the side of the castle that will take you close to Princes Street as well. They thanked me and went on their way.

So basically the problem with diversity of retail on the High Street, bringing footfall through the Grassmarket, using King’s Stables Road and the need for a good daily market all in one brief conversation!

Later as I was cutting through Waverley Mall, an American lady asked me if the mall had a grocery store. I directed her to Sainsbury’s. I must have had my helpful face on!

READ MORE: Kevin Buckle: Edinburgh council has abandoned the Grassmarket