Quality in the making since 1905.
In 1905, Aitken&Niven was established, as “gentlemen’s tailors of distinction” providing tailored suits for both work and leisure. The workrooms at Queensferry Street & Rose Street were busy environments, in which its tailors sat cross-legged sewing Suits, as this was believed to be the best posture at the time whilst working.The first few years proved successful for the store and it continued to trade during the 1st World War by expanding into Ladies Tailoring and Military Service uniforms. It is also a credit to Aitken&Niven that the store managed to survive the Great Depression of the 1930’s when many contemporary stores went out of business.
The advent of the 2nd World War introduced fabric rationing, and a threat to Aitken&Niven’s business. In 1943 however, A&N introduced its School Uniform Department. This suggestion came from William Ferguson, who had previously held a position at the Edinburgh store. Aitken&Niven became a limited company after the war in 1949, and continued trading at 46 Queensferry Street, until the store moved to 79 George Street in 1958.
79 George Street, Edinburgh (1958-2004)
In 1980, A&N expanded into 77 George Street, its new departments including Women’s’ Fashions and Footwear and a Coffee Lounge! Throughout the 1980’s the company continued to thrive, and in 1991, the Barbour range of outdoor wear was introduced into the store.
The store continues to evolve keeping up with today’s fast moving retail environment, specialising and expanding its School Uniform, Sports, Corporate, Shoe and Fashion businesses. In 2001 Aitken&Niven opened a new flagship store, warehouse and offices in Morningside, Edinburgh and completed a move out of its George Street premises in 2004.