An independent bookseller has ignited a frenzy of excitement on Twitter after revealing its plan to open a huge store in Edinburgh.
With bookshops among the biggest casualties of the changing retail scene, the launch of a new one is being greeted with a rare degree of anticipation.
Part of the reason is that it represents a change from the usual trend of seeing former banks turned into cafes or charity shops. The unit on the corner of Blenheim Place is a former branch of RBS and will become the latest outlet for Topping & Company.
It also plans to bring back a bit of old style book browsing with rolling library ladders and space for more than 70,000 books, making it the largest independent bookshop to open in Scotland in decades.
The Grade A listed William Playfair building will add to Topping & Company’s chain of shops in St Andrews, well Bath and Ely.
Run by Hugh and Cornelia Topping, the shops have become known for hosting author events and varied book festivals with big names making appearances all year round. Forthcoming events in St Andrews include Ruby Wax and Janice Galloway.
Twitter users were delighted by the news. “Lucky Edinburgh. Toppings is a wonderful bookshop,” wrote one. “What a stunning venue for a bookshop! Look forward to visiting on my next trip north,” said another, while Ingleby Gallery in Calton Place said: “We are excited to have you here.”
Not such a clamour of enthusiasm for plans to include what we hear is a ‘Parisian-style’ market as part of the revamp of the nearby Greenside Place roundabout.
Cafe and restaurant owners in Broughton Street say they are already being hit by the works, made worse by pipe laying which has closed the road to incoming traffic from the junction.
Long term, they are concerned by the impact of 30-odd new eating places planned for the St James Centre.
One restaurateur told Daily Business: “We’re now told there are plans to put a food market outside the Omni Centre. It could be the last straw for some of us.”
One rule for them…
Another kick in the teeth for those campaigning for a rethink on the state pension age: a report that the civil servant responsible for raising the retirement age to 67 is retiring at 61 with a £1.8 million pension pot. It will entitle him to a lump sum of £245,000 and £85,000 a year.. the Waspi women may have something to say about that.