Harrods of the North comes of age
On a bright spring day, the 12thof April 1995, The House of Bruar first opened its doors. After two years of building work on the quiet site in rural Perthshire, that once held a small country pub, Mark and Linda Birkbeck opened the store with the 10thDuke of Atholl, the Atholl Highlanders and their family in attendance. From the outset, many in the Scottish tourism trade and textile industry claimed that the venture was doomed to fail, but 25 years on it is now Scotland’s leading luxury Country Clothing retailer.
In the last 25 years, the company has grown beyond all recognition - The Country Living and Menswear departments now each cover over 20,000 square feet, the Cashmere Hall - once a golf shop back in the early days - is believed to be the largest in the northern hemisphere, and the Ladieswear department has a plethora of shoes, bags, jewellery, a specialist coat room and many of your favourite country clothing brands such as Barbour and Joules. Alongside the extensive clothing, art gallery, technical fishing department and gift halls, the site also sports a 600-seater restaurant serving fresh seafood, homemade favourites and traditional Scottish fare, an award-winning Food Hall, Butchery, Delicatessen and Drinks Room. All this attracts over two million visitors a year and allows the family to continually reinvest in the business: with over 25 extensions to the original building since it opened in 1995.
Since the turn of the century, the retail landscape has changed significantly and so has the company. The House of Bruar is proud to have built the Home of Country Clothing on the back of the ever-growing Scottish tourism trade, however, to reach customers further afield the business has rapidly expanded its mail order catalogue business and its digital marketing. Still priding itself on the high-quality experience customers receive when they visit the 11-acre site, you can now find the same level of service through their dedicated mail order team.
Despite the ongoing developments with COVID-19, which are causing concern for the whole country, plans are moving forward on a new Stalking Department within the Menswear Hall and the building work for a fantastic gallery space to showcase the best of contemporary rural art will start as soon as possible. With these and other continuous developments within the Restaurant, Food Hall and the traditional Fish and Chip Shop which specialises in the ultimate luxury comfort food - fresh Lobster and chips, there is hope that 2020 will continue the trend of success. A success which is a testament to what Mark and Linda Birkbeck have achieved over the last 25 years and which will attract visitors from all corners of the globe in the years to come.
Although currently closed, plans are underway for a joyful reopening soon. In the meantime, online and phone orders are still being taken. So why not treat yourself to one of the the best steak pies in the country, indulge yourself and order Dunnet Bay's Spring Edition Gin or browse the extensive range of clothing, so you are ready for summer.
For more information visit the official House of Bruar website.