IT was the oldest independent department store in the world, harking back to an era where ladies bought gloves and lace. Now Jenners is to depart its historic Edinburgh location.

When did it open?

Jenners was founded in 1838 on Princes Street, as a drapery business.

How did it get its name?

It was established by linen drapers Charles Jenner and Charles Kennington, expanding through the years into a department store, before Kennington retired in 1861 and left it to Jenner, who removed the Kennington name in the 1870s.

There was a fire?

The original buildings were destroyed in 1892. A new store opened in 1895 with notable innovations at the time, such as electric lighting and hydraulic lifts.

It had 60 departments?

When it reopened, it was the largest department store in the UK, with sectors including china, furniture, ladies’ fashions and gloves and lace. Its Fancy Goods Department included parasols, rocking horses, picnic boxes and Oriental lacquered screens.

It was designed for ladies?

Charles Jenner ensured it was designed as a place where unaccompanied ladies could respectably congregate without damage to their reputation and the tea room became a popular place for them to meet.

He also funded the store’s ornate exterior caryatides – female figures carved into columns – symbolically designed to show that women were the support of the business.

It’s a family firm?

It was for many years; run by the Douglas-Miller family, who were descendants of Charles Jenner, until it was taken over by the House of Fraser group in 2005. Despite the takeover, it retained the Jenners name.

The Christmas tree?

The 20 metre twinkling Christmas tree was an Edinburgh institution. To get it in place, the side door of Jenners was taken apart, the tree was tied up and squeezed in – sometimes by local rugby players – and then abseilers would swing down from the beams to pull it into an upright position, before they decorated it with lights.

But times are changing?

Danish billionaire owner, Anders Holch Povlsen – who purchased the building for around £50 million in 2017 – has unveiled plans to move away from the traditional department store and reinvent the Category A listed property, transforming it into a hotel, shops, cafes and a rooftop restaurant and bar. This would also include a “total restoration” of the facade, including the reinstatement of lost original features.

What about Jenners?

Jenners – once known as the “Harrods of the North” – is expected to leave its historic home next year or in 2021. It has been suggested that it could move elsewhere in the city centre.

The building will endure?

Anders Krogh, project manager for the redevelopment, said that the project is "first and foremost about helping to preserve a unique historic building in Edinburgh”.