It comes after Frasers Group, which owns the “Jenners” brand and rents the building from Anders Povlsen, announced this afternoon that it had failed to reach a financial agreement with the Danish billionaire.
200 jobs at the store are set to go as a result.
But Anders Krogh Vogdrup, director at Bestsellers, the company owned by Mr Povlsen, pledged that while the Jenners building’s association with Fraser Group would end in May, the department store would be returned to “its former glory”.
He said: “We can confirm that Frasers Group has notified us that they will be exercising their break option, and so will be leaving the Jenners building.
“We have endeavoured to work with tenants during the pandemic and resulting lockdowns; offering rent-free periods, deferrals and payment plans, and encouraging our tenants to utilise Government-funded schemes to save costs and protect jobs.
“Despite the substantial rent reduction already granted to Frasers and rent-free periods to cover all lockdowns, Frasers has made the decision that it does not wish to continue in occupation.
“This will see the end of the 16-year association between House of Fraser and this building, but not of the 180 years of Jenners department store.
“We are in talks with retailer operators and are planning a programme of works to ensure that, when safe and able to do so, Jenners will reopen.
“Our primary goal is to see the department store returned it to its former glory; Jenners of Edinburgh is an institution and, despite the changing face of retail, it is our aspiration that Jenners will continue to be a retail store for as long as we are its stewards.”
It comes after the Evening News exclusively revealed in November that Mr Polvsen planned to reinvent the 180-year-old building on Princes Street.
It is understood that the renovation will see a hotel, cafes and rooftop restaurant and bar replace the existing department store, alongside a potential raft of luxury shops linked to his clothing empire Bestseller.