Scottish Design Exchange relocates Edinburgh city-centre store

The Scottish Design Exchange (SDX) has relocated its Edinburgh city-centre store as part of plans to extend its footprint across Scotland.

The move comes as the community interest company, which provides a high-street presence to hundreds of small, independent producers, aims to double its turnover within three years with new outlets in Dundee, Inverness, and Aberdeen.

It also says it has generated more than £3.5 million of income for tenants at its stores in George Street, Edinburgh, and Buchanan Galleries, in Glasgow, since debuting in 2015 – and has a newly relaunched online store.

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Founder Lynzi Leroy, a former executive with oil company Shell, mothballed growth plans during the pandemic when lockdown forced the closure of the two outlets.

The company now occupies a store on George Street at the site of a former Church of Scotland bookshop and more recently luxury home furnishings specialist Anta Scotland. Picture: contributed.
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The expansion programme has since been revived, with the company launching a new 3,500-square-foot store in George Street at the site of a former Church of Scotland bookshop and more recently occupied by luxury home furnishings specialist Anta Scotland.

Ms Leroy said: “We’re delighted to be occupying an address in the centre of Edinburgh with a rich history.

“It suits perfectly our business model of giving a high-street visibility to the work of hundreds of independent producers in a space that they would not otherwise be able to afford themselves.”

The SDX launched in Leith as a hub for fashion designers, artists, textile and jewellery designers, publishers, photographers, and other producers to display their creations to customers without having to pay high commission rates demanded by galleries.

A second outlet, at Buchanan Galleries, was launched in autumn 2018, which along with the Edinburgh store, supports more than 300 artists and designers from all over Scotland.

SDX said the success of the Glasgow store, whose turnover had been more than double that of its east-coast counterpart pre-Covid, has prompted Ms Leroy to look further afield. She also plans to establish high-street hubs for small, independent food and drink producers.

A planned opening of outlets in Tayside, the North-east and the Highlands was put on hold after SDX was forced to close its doors during last year’s lockdown. “The future is now looking much brighter,” Ms Leroy said.

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