Mike Ashley's new Princes Street store - your views online

A luxury fashion retailer is set to breathe life into the former BhS store on Edinburgh’s Princes Street. Flannels, owned by Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group, will move into the ground and first floors of the building. We asked readers what they thought...

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 7:00 am

Anne Boak: Oh for Debenhams, British Home Stores and even C&A to return. They were great for home as well as fashion. They were pretty good for prices as well – exactly what we need.

Donald W Macleod: They all went bankrupt. Not enough people wanted what they sold.

Norma Brown: Just looked them up online. Certainly “luxury” with their prices! Not affordable for most shoppers.

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Mike Ashley is opening a branch of Flannels in the former BhS store on Princes Street

Moira Morris: At least it’s not going to be another phone or shoe shop. That’s good news.

Tracey McBurnie: What we need is good quality middle-of-the-range clothing. It's no wonder people are moving to online as there is none and choice is so limited.

Ewen Watt: Time for some style and class to be restored to now tacky Princes Street, with its broken pavements, cheap and nasty tourist tat, shoddy shop fronts, peeling paint, torn flags, dismal street lighting and beggars.

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Martin Brown: Mike Ashley and luxury fashion retailer – hardly words you expect to see together.

Kathy Burgess: I remember when BhS opened – must have been about 1967. I was working as a holiday job at the Tartan Gift Shop next door. People kept walking into the glass doors as they were unadorned.

Lesley Wright: Just what Edinburgh needs when normal people are struggling to pay household bills. If I wanted to pay over the odds for a T-shirt to impress strangers on social media I can go go Multrees Walk. Bring back normal shops! It’s no wonder most people do shop online and the high street is on its knees.

Gill Henderson: Great to see a unit filled in the street. Unfortunately most of us won't be able to pay those prices.

Angela Mcdermott: It will take more than this to revamp Princes Street. Edinburgh’s other disgrace

Richard Henderson: Good luck to Flannels and Mr Ashley. There must be a market or they would not be taking the venture forward.

Susan McDowall: Great to see new shops so had a look at the Flannels website to see only sky-high prices. It would be great if the new shops could be affordable for most rather than a small group of people. Even Jenners (when owned by the Jenners family) had a large number of items which could be afforded by most, which gave everyone the feeling that luxury was achievable. I bet none of the sizes are above a 14.

Shaun Hanlon: High streets have had their day. Kids in 20 years’ time will say “grandad, what were shops?”.

Michael Inman: I wish it was just a massive indoor market on three floors instead... oh well, I can dream.

Kathrin Müller: So we go from tartan tat to now Jimmy Choo. Does it ever occur to the people in charge that Princes Street could be a busy spot for original Scottish brands and family businesses and the tourists would flock to it? It seems Princes Street is getting worse by any step tht the city is taking for its transformation.

Stevie Campbell: It’ll be hilarious seeing all the “I’d never give a penny to Mike Ashley” merchants that are not in the know queuing up to buy!

General Assembly plans to boost congregations

The Church of Scotland is set to spend £25m in an attempt to grow new and existing congregations after it was revealed that membership had fallen by a third in a decade.

Sheila Wilson: Perhaps they should deal with the sheer hypocrisy of some of the members who go to church on a Sunday and think it's an open licence to treat others like dirt the other six days? I see it every single day!

Gary Pastor: Do you also see the heathens and irreligious doing the same thing? Are you without sin?

Ian Mulvey: You just can't get people to believe in a mythical omnipotent man in the clouds these days.

Scott Wright: Rather than use that money for charity they are using it to fund attempts to lure people in.

Mark Glover: They could just pray for people to return.

John Cranston: God works in mysterious ways. I'm sure he'll have his reasons for lowering congregations.