Over 200 years in the waiting – but Johnstons hit the West End

Ribbon is cut on Johnston of Elgin's new Bond Street store
Over 200 years in the waiting – but Johnstons of Elgin are now in London’s West End

ONE OF MORAY’S leading businesses has taken a major step in their retail operations by opening a store in London’s West End.

After over 200 years Johnstons of Elgin now has a presence in Bond Street in a move that they say will help put in place the foundations to keep the business going for another 200 years.

The stylish store will be operated by eight staff and as well as catering for the retail market in the capital will be the base for the firm’s wholesale operation in London which will move to the new site from Westminster – including Hannah Swann from Elgin, who first worked with Johnstons as a ‘Saturday girl’ when still at school.

The new store was officially opened on Monday by Jenny Houldsworth and her two children, the fourth-generation Johnstons family member maintaining the links by launching a step that she says was 218 years in the making.

“It feels right for us to be here,” the non-executive director and manager said, adding: “It is a huge step and it’s very exciting for everyone involved.

“We have thousands of craftsmen and women working around Scotland, so to have their products displayed here for this very discerning footfall makes everybody feel hugely proud.”

Retail managing director for the Elgin firm added: “Johnstons of Elgin is 218 years old – the directors are looking to put in place foundations that will continue the business for another couple of hundred years.”

Hannah Swann was a Saturday girl at Johnstons in Elgin when 16-years-old before going on to complete her education at university. Now 24 she admitted that it was strange that she returned to the firm to work at their first flagship London store.

Hannah, whose parents still live in Elgin, said: “It is strange how fate works out – it was my first job and now I’m beginning another adventure with them in London.”