Department Store

Arrival in Edinburgh

Charles Kennington and Charles Jenner came from the south to work as drapers in Leith Walk, Edinburgh.  They asked for a day off to attend the Musselburgh Races, but  were refused. 

Nevertheless they went to the races and they were sacked when they returned to work.

Charles Jenner

   Cabinet Print by Bashford, Portobello  -  Charles Jenner, one of the founders of Kennington & Jenner, later to become Jenner's Department Store in Princes Street


Requiring other employment, Charles Kennington and Charles Jenner decided to open their own shop.   The shop, Kennington & Jenner opened in 1838 at 47 Princes Street offering Fancy Goods for Ladies.

It went on to become Jenners, probably the best known of Edinburgh's shops.  It is still at the same address in Princes Street opposite the Scott Monument.

The shop expanded during the 19th century to include 48, 49 Princes Street and 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 South St David Street.

Kennington & Jenner - 1870

   The original Jenners' Department Store  -  1870


Almost the whole premises were destroyed in a spectacular fire on 26 November 1892, viewed by 30,000 or 40,000 people.

Charles Jenner died in 1893.

The store was rebuilt with extensive electric lighting and fast lifts.  It partially re-opened for a Christmas Bazaar in December 1894 and fully re-opened on 6 May 1895.


The store continued to thrive.  It expanded into Rose Street to include the site of the former Stock Exchange in 1903, and further to the west  to include 52 Princes Street in 1922.

In 1924, Kennington & Jenners became a Limited Company and was renamed, Jenners, Princes Street, Edinburgh, Ltd.


   Jenners' Corner  -  Princes Street  -  with Christmas Eve Shoppers


It was announced in March 2005 that Jenners, by then the oldest independent department store in the world,  had been sold to its rival House of Fraser for 46.1m, so ending  167 years of family-run  independence.  Jenners' Princes Street store, in 2005, employed 750 workers.

House of Fraser  announced in March 2005 that the Jenners stores at Princes Street and at Glasgow Airport, Edinburgh Airport and Loch Lomond would all be retained and that the Company will continue to trade as Jenners


(1)   for most of the details above up to 1938:

A Hundred Years In Princes Street 1838-1938:  Published by Jenners.

(2)   for details of the takeover in 2005:

Edinburgh Evening News,  16 March 2005,  pp.22-23 and 21 March 2005,  pp.1, 3]



Jenner's Department Store:      Photos




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