Jenners Department Store, now known simply as Jenners, is a department store located in Edinburgh, Scotland, and was the oldest independent department store in Scotland until its acquisition by House of Fraser in 2005.
Jenners has maintained its position on Edinburgh's Princes Street since 1838 when it was founded by Charles Jenner FRSE (1810-1893), a linen draper by trade, and Charles Kennington and known as "Kennington & Jenner". The store was run for many years by the Douglas-Miller family, who were descendants of James Kennedy, who took charge of Jenners in 1881.
The original buildings that formed the department store were destroyed by fire in 1892, and in 1893 the Scottish architect William Hamilton Beattie was appointed to design the new store which subsequently opened in 1895. This new building is designated as a category A listed building, and it is noted by the statutory listing that, at Charles Jenner's insistence, the building's caryatids were intended 'to show symbolically that women are the support of the house'. The new store included many technical innovations such as electric lighting and hydraulic lifts.
In 2004 it changed its vision statement from its goal to "be the most exciting department store outside London" to "Confidently Independent". The store made national news in 2007 when it publicised that it would stop selling pate de foie gras, following a boycott by the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton.
Sale to House of Fraser
On 16 March 2005 it was announced that the Douglas-Miller family were in advanced negotiations to sell the business to the House of Fraser, at an estimated £100–200 million, but a month later it was sold for £46.1 million. While other acquisitions by House of Fraser have been renamed, Jenners has managed to keep its identity. In 2008, House of Fraser invested £3m in improvements to the store. There is another branch of House of Fraser at the other end of Princes Street.
The lease of the building remained with the Jenners holding company JPSE Ltd, owned by the Douglas-Miller family, and was subsequently sold to Moorcroft Capital Management in August 2005 which was owned by Robbie Douglas Miller (former Chief Executive of Jenners).
Jenners currently has two shops:
Jenners previously had stores at Edinburgh Airport and Glasgow International Airport that closed following a decision announced in April 2007. Jenners said that security measures introduced in UK airports following the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot had led to a significant downturn in trade at the shops.
- Bowers, Simon (22 March 2005), "House of Fraser buys Scotland's oldest department store for £46m", The Guardian, London
- Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X.
- Edinburgh Architecture website
- "47-52 (inclusive nos) Princes Street and South St David Street, Jenners Department Store: Listed Building Report".
- The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland website
- Harrods of the North enters new era with House of Fraser deal, The Scotsman, 20 March 2005
- Jenners 'ethical' foie gras ban BBC News Friday, 8 June 2007
- Morley, Chris (6 January 2006), "Fears for future of Beatties store", Birmingham Mail, Birmingham
- Ferguson, Brian (25 July 2008), "Landmark store to have £4.5m revamp", The Scotsman, Edinburgh
- "Jenners chief pockets £45m from sale", The Scotsman, Edinburgh, 24 February 2006
- "Jenners closes Edinburgh and Glasgow airport shops" Archived 27 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine., UK Airport News, 22 April 2007