New St James Quarter to welcome visitors from June 24 in first phase of opening
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The long-anticipated opening has been carefully planned to fit in with the wider plans for a safe reopening of the city, with St James Quarter designed to provide a safe, convenient, and fun environment for shoppers to enjoy.
It includes natural ventilation throughout, easily accessible public routes and connectivity from key surrounding streets, covered car parking on site and an integrated plan with the city’s events programme for upcoming celebrations.
Martin Perry, director of development at St James Quarter said that the past year with Covid-19 restrictions both in the UK and globally had impacted the opening date having been faced with the shutdown of construction as well as travel restrictions meaning certain shopfitters could not travel to fit out the new stores.
“The latter part of June is when it is indicated that measures will be expected to be relaxed,” he said, “It's the day before the schools break up for the summer and it seems the nearest most logical dates that we can work with.”
The phase one opening line-up of one of the most significant UK city centre transformations undertaken in the last few years will bring together brands from global to local, combining convenience and luxury with an offering that includes; Zara, Mango, Pull & Bear, Rituals, H&M, Kurt Geiger, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, as well as Dune, Bross Bagels and Salerno Pizza, ensuring there is something for everyone to enjoy.
The centre will also see many exciting brands making their Scotland debuts with; Peloton, Bonnie & Wild, & Other Stories, Bershka and Stradivarius offering their exciting products in Edinburgh for the first time.
Mr Perry added: “On June 24, people are still going to be cautious. The galleria itself is naturally ventilated, the roof floats over the top of it so you're still breathing outside air, it's not artificially treated or pushed through in any shape or form.
“The retailers and restaurants will have distancing measures in place themselves.”
In advance of the launch, John Lewis will also reopen on May 14, following a multi million-pound refurbishment.
Mr Perry added: “We are delighted and actually quite surprised about what we have achieved during Covid in getting the scheme where we are at the moment.
Nick Peel, managing director of St James Quarter said: “While we won’t have the usual fanfare on June 24 and it will be more of a soft launch, we make no apologies for that.
“Unfortunately we can’t have thousands of people showing up for the opening as that would be wrong and improper in this climate.
“But it is a phased approach. There are a handful of brands that we haven't announced yet that are absolute game changers.
“Our aspiration is for this to be the best retail experience in Scotland.”
Still to come in the latter phases of the development will be more shops, restaurants and bars, a W Edinburgh hotel, a boutique Everyman Cinema, Roomzzz Aparthotel, 152 New Eidyn residential apartments, and an unrivalled guest experience providing customers with an enviable events programme in a range of new and attractive public spaces.