Edinburgh’s George Street revival continues as rents jump 25% in the last 12 months

The Alchemist on Edinburgh's George Street

ACCORDING to Savills, rents on Edinburgh’s George Street have risen by as much as 25% in the last 12 months, reaching £150 per sq ft for prime Zone A units. This follows the latest deal to Me&Em, which brings the vacancy rate on the street to just 5%, falling from 15% at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Savills notes that back in 2020 there were circa 11 available units on the street, whilst there are now just four, all of which are receiving good interest or are under offer. Given the level of demand, along with the recent lettings, rents have also seen a significant recovery. Zone A rents for the prime section of the street are now as high as £150 per sq ft, up from £120 per sq ft 12 months ago.

George street has welcomed 12 new occupiers in the past 18 months. Whilst some of these have been relocations from elsewhere in the city centre, 50% of these are new brands to Edinburgh. These include:

  • Black Sheep Coffee
  • Joseph Cheaney
  • Jimmy Fairly
  • Me&Em
  • Monsoon
  • Aubin & Wills
  • Jigsaw
  • Whitestuff
  • The Alchemist
  • Astrid & Miyu
  • Sweaty Betty
  • Abercrombie & Fitch
  • Cambridge Satchel Co

The arrival of new occupiers has revived the streetscape and reaffirmed George Street as one of Edinburgh’s prime retail destinations. Savills has also seen increased demand for food and beverage (F&B) units, with cocktail bar The Alchemist now open in the space formerly occupied by Laura Ashley. 

Isla Monteith, director in the retail team at Savills Scotland, comments: “With a number of other units further west on the street now under offer to F&B operators, this signals a return of national F&B brands to the city centre. Until recently, the F&B market in Edinburgh has been dominated by local independents, who have focused on edge of prime and affluent suburban areas of the city. Looking ahead, the planned pedestrianisation of the street is also encouraging this blend of F&B and retail further, so we will no doubt see this trend continue.

“Elsewhere in the city we are also now seeing the regeneration of Princes Street. Whilst this is a slow process, the large scale redevelopment of many of the more sizeable blocks is now underway. The St James Quarter is also performing very well and this is helping to encourage brands to consider Edinburgh, whether in St James itself, or locations such as George Street.”

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