Jenners is an upmarket department store that has been in the same central location on Edinburgh’s Princes Street since 1838. Nicknamed the ‘Harrods of the North,’ the high-end retailer isn’t quite the right place to snag a bargain. But for serious shoppers willing to spend a little extra on a luxurious retail experience, there’s no better place to go to in the city.

A large part of the appeal of shopping at Jenners is the building itself. Constructed in 1895, the grand landmark showcases the Renaissance architecture of the era, with a multitude of ornate balconies and atriums to admire. Of course, one must not forget its excellent selection of high-quality merchandise, with everything from apparel to tech and beauty products on sale somewhere within. Read on to learn about Scotland’s most beloved department store.

Jenners in Edinburgh - one of the highlights of 14 Best Places to Go Shopping in Edinburgh (Read all about Edinburgh here)

photo by Christian Bickel (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

What are the highlights and features of Jenners?

You don’t need to be on a shopping spree to enjoy a trip to Jenners as this upmarket department store is an experience in itself. The gorgeous Victorian-era facade encapsulates Edinburgh’s architectural elegance while its glitzy interior is more glamorous than any gallery in the city.

Set over 3 floors, the open-air atrium features an enormous glass ceiling to let sunlight flood inside. Ornate dark wood railings wrap around each floor of the atrium, while beautiful beige pillars and bright light fixtures evoke the elegance of the era. And if you’re lucky enough to come at Christmas, the entire scene is set alight by a giant Christmas tree and thousands of fairy lights.

If you do happen to be on a shopping spree, you’ll find almost everything you need at Jenners. The labyrinth-like store stocks a wide range of wares and is especially famous among slick dressers for its high-end apparel. Children adore Jenners as well – its renowned toy department is easily the best of its kind in the UK.

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A brief history of Jenners

A linen-draper named Charles Jenner and his associate, Charles Kennington, founded the original store on Princes Street in 1838. It initially operated as a modest drapery, but the duo quickly expanded the store to occupy the surrounding businesses. Upon retirement, Jenner left the company to his younger partner, James Kennedy, and the business remained in the family until 2005, making it the oldest independently owned department store at the time.

In 1892, a devastating fire leveled Jenners. A distraught Charles Jenner came out of retirement to direct his architect, William Hamilton Beattie, to erect a new building, which would be even more grandiose than the former. Beattie finished construction 3 years later, and his remarkable Renaissance-style edifice boasted cutting edge technology for the time – air-cooling systems, hydraulic elevators, and electric lighting among them.

Jenners obtained a Royal Warrant in 1911, which officially enabled it to supply wares to British Royalty. Numerous royals have visited the store over the years, including Queen Elizabeth herself on its 150th anniversary in 1988.

What’s good to know about Jenners?

Also known as the House of Fraser, Jenners resides on Edinburgh’s bustling Princes Street, directly opposite Waverley train station. As a result, accessing the department store via public transportation is a breeze, with numerous local streetcars and buses passing by throughout the day.

Although the goods sold at Jenners are notably upmarket, you don’t have to be made of money to enjoy a visit. Window shopping at the department store is superb, and the glitz and glam of the building itself are sure to impress.

Entry is free to the public, and restroom facilities are available on site.

photo by Martin Abegglen (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

Jenners in Edinburgh

Location: 47-48 Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2YJ, UK

Open: Monday–Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm

Phone: +44 (0)3439 092031

Harry Stewart | Contributing Writer