Analysis: How the St James centre will realign Edinburgh retail

Edinburgh St James

The developers behind the new Edinburgh St James shopping centre believe that once completed, the scheme will put the city’s retail offering on the world stage. Retail Week explores how the scheme is playing a part in a wider realignment of the city’s traditional retail hubs.

Retail Week visited the new Edinburgh St James location in the Scottish capital’s east end, which is slated to open in autumn next year.

The shopping centre will comprise 850,000 sq ft of designated retail space, as well as 152 apartments, 30 food and beverage businesses, a cinema complex and, by the end of 2021, the W Hotel.

The developers behind the project Nuveen say once completed, the scheme will “strengthen Edinburgh’s global standing” and “completely redefine retail-led, mixed-use regeneration in the UK, repositioning Edinburgh as one of the most exciting, forward-thinking and sought-after destinations for retail and leisure operators in Europe”.

Big claims, particularly considering the declining footfall and customer spending figures across shopping centres in the UK more generally over the last few years.

It is also due to come online at a time when Edinburgh’s traditional retail hubs are struggling with the same high street travails as much of the rest of UK retail.

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