Edinburgh's George Hughes Fishmonger in Bruntsfield to close after 100 years amid rising costs

Customers have ‘nearly been in tears’ over the sad news.
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A fishmonger that has been serving an Edinburgh community for more than a century is set to close its doors as the owner is ready to retire.

The George Hughes Fishmonger store, on Bruntsfield Place, has been put up for lease with the closing date expected to be in January 2024. Owner George, 70, who has had health problems recently, is downing tools to enjoy retirement years with his family including his six grandchildren.

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George’s son Gareth Baxter, manager at the shop, told the Evening News the shop had been hit hard by the soaring cost of materials and fuel and profits had dropped significantly in recent years. He said: “I'm devastated that we are closing but it's the right decision for my dad and is coming at the right time. He's worked all these years and is such a grafter, full of get up and go. Always the first one up early in the morning. It's time for him to slow down.

The fishmongers opened in 1922The fishmongers opened in 1922
The fishmongers opened in 1922

"We’ve seen the prices of everything going up in the last few years, including raw materials and fuel but you can only put up prices so much. It’s hard because the public deserves top quality products at fair prices and that’s getting more difficult now. We’ve seen money coming in declining in the past few years since Covid. That's worrying and it's why I’m not taking on the shop.

"I’ve had customers in the shop today nearly in tears when they saw the for lease sign up. It really hit home that we are going to close. It feels like the end of an era.”

Locals took to social media to express their sadness at the news. One woman said: “This is awful news. George Hughes Fishmonger has been on Bruntsfield Place for decades.”

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The family will continue to operate a shop in Glasgow and the factory in Bathgate. A listing for the property reads: “The subject comprises a retail unit arranged over the ground and basement levels of a 5-storey traditional Georgian stone-built terrace block. Internally, at ground floor there is a retail space to the front of the unit with storage to the rear and there is additional storage in the basement.”

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