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.
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
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.
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:
Evening News, 16 March 2005, pp.22-23 and 21 March 2005,