In 1839, the Gardiner brothers left Glasgow to open The Scotch House, a London warehouse selling all things Scottish. King George IV's well-publicized visit to Edinburgh in 1822 and the subsequent expansion of England's rail network north of the Scottish border had the whole country in the grip of what the satirical magazine Punch would call "Tartanitis" or "Highland Fever."
In 1900, The Scotch House moved from its original location in the East End of London to the quickly developing Knightsbridge neighborhood in the West End. It became the first tenant of a majestic new building in a prime location at the corner of Knightsbridge and Brompton Road, opposite Hyde Park, earning the area the nickname "Scotch Corner." With the move, the original warehouse was transformed into a luxury department store specializing in Scottish wool and cashmere. In addition to its own Scotch House label, it sold clothing by British brands like Pringle of Scotland, Edina Ronay. and Scott Henshall. This tweed daytime suit--consisting of an Argyll jacket, matching vest, and kilt--dates from shortly after the move, the new address proudly inscribed on the label.
The Scotch House soon added a second store in London's Regent Street shopping district, eventually expanding throughout southern England, France, Wales, and even Scotland itself. But it began closing branches in the 1980s, hurt by a drop in tourism. In 2001, the firm's owners, Great Universal Stores, put the ailing label on the market, but failed to find a buyer. After more than 100 years in business, the Brompton Road store closed, along with the remaining locations. Today, Burberry looms over the intersection still known as "Scotch Corner."