Edinburgh’s Top Department Stores Struggling

One of Edinburgh’s top department stores is feeling the strain but blames the British weather rather than the economic crisis.

House of Fraser, situated at the west end of Princes Street, was forced to close early on what is normally one of its most successful trading days.

Jenners also closed early despite participating in the same event as Frasers, which offered up to 25% off everything in store.

The sale once had people queuing at the door but on Thursday a lack of customers forced store manager Ian Elder to close one hour early.

Rather than blaming Britain’s money troubles, he thinks that strong winds and heavy rain were more of a detterrant to Edinburgh shoppers.

Mr Elder said: “The credit crunch was not the reason for closing early, the weather was.

“A number of factors went against us on Thursday, primarily the Forth Road Bridge closure. Our corporate customers went straight home after their day at the office instead of coming into the store.”

The Office for National Statistics released somewhat surprising figures for last month, which showed that retail sales fell by only 0.4 percent despite predictions of a considerably higher drop.

Jenner store manager, George Bell, believes that the credit crunch should not spell a disaster for them, despite reporting falling figures.

He said: “It’s all about confidence and good customer service.

“If we give a great service to our customers then they will continue to return and spend money with us. It really is as simple as that.”

John Lewis have also suffered a decline in sales with figures for last week showing a fall by 7.6 percent compared to last year.