Remembering the great Edinburgh shops of the past

It made waves when it was built in 1963, its four floors boasting a roof garden, restaurant and aviary overlooking Edinburgh Castle and the Pentlands.

Wednesday, 16th March 2016, 6:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th March 2016, 6:38 pm
Goldbergs department store in High Riggs, Tollcross.

Goldbergs department store in Tollcross, a once landmark building so many locals will remember fondly - perhaps most for visiting Santa there as youngsters.

“It was a modern store which had escalators, which we take for granted now, but in those days it was a real novelty,” Norma James, who ran a jewellery business in Home Street, told the Evening News.

“And credit cards weren’t around then, so part of Goldbergs’ trading appeal was its account system.”

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Patrick Thomson's department store on North Briidge

Goldbergs was part of a UK wide empire that went bankrupt in 1990. The Tollcross store was bulldozed six years later and student accommodation built on the site.

It is not the only Edinburgh store to have bitten the dust, or changed appearance dramatically over the years.

Patrick Thomson’s Drapery Store on North Bridge was a well known shop which was a must for shoppers of all generations for some 70 years, before it was rebranded to become Arnotts in 1976. The store traded until 1982, and is now home to the Carlton Hotel and a host of other retailers, including Argos.

Standing proud on the West End corner of Princes Street, Frasers has changed its appearance many times over the years. It began life in 1894 when drapers Robert Maule and Son threw open the doors and the advertising slogan “Meet me at Mauls” soon became a familiar saying.

Customers queue outside Mr Munro's shop at Brandon Terrace in Edinburgh stocking up for Hogmanay

In 1931, the building was acquired by H Binns and Son Co Ltd and consisted of 50 departments on seven floors. Then House of Fraser took over in 1953, changing the store’s name to Frasers in 1976.

The next year, Smalls at 104 Princes Street, owned by House of Fraser closed its doors.

James Scott & Co. Greenside Place. Television section.
F W Woolworth & Co in a converted church in Portobello High Street.
Smalls department store on Princes Street, Edinburgh.
Arnott's department store on North Briidge
Arnott's department store on North Briidge
Princes Street West end 1909, showing Robert Maule & Son department store.
Patrick Thomson's department store on North Briidge
Customers queue outside Mr Munro's shop at Brandon Terrace in Edinburgh stocking up for Hogmanay
James Scott & Co. Greenside Place. Television section.
F W Woolworth & Co in a converted church in Portobello High Street.
Smalls department store on Princes Street, Edinburgh.
Arnott's department store on North Briidge
Arnott's department store on North Briidge
Princes Street West end 1909, showing Robert Maule & Son department store.