Princes St boost

Uniqlo recruiting for new store in Edinburgh

Uniqlo will occupy the former Bhs store

Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo has begun recruiting for its first Edinburgh store which will occupy the former Bhs outlet in Princes Street.

The new two-storey store, first announced in August, will open in the spring seven years after Bhs collapsed. The building has been refurbished and there was speculation that Mike Ashley intended to open a branch of Flannels.

Alessandro Dudech, chief operating officer for Uniqlo in the UK, said: “It’s an honour to be opening in not only a new city but a new country.”

Uniqlo currently has 17 stores in the UK and is said to be close to signing a lease in St Enoch shopping centre on Argyle Street, Glasgow. It has 2,400 stores across the world, including Japan, Asia, Europe and North America.

Parent company Fast Retailing reported a 2.8% increase profits to £1.8bn for the nine months ended 31 May 2023. Revenue jumped 21.4%.

The firm’s arrival in Edinburgh is a further boost for both bricks and mortar retail and for Princes Street which has suffered from the closures of Jenners, Debenhams and Top Shop and from some store such as Next and Zara relocating to the St James Quarter.

Traditionally the city’s main artery, it is being revived partly through hotel coffee bar openings, while some retail is being introduced to ensure it retains a mixed offering.

Bhs failed to attract a buyer and the department store chain closed all its UK outlets in 2016 with the loss of about 11,000 jobs.

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