One of the Scottish capital’s key tram stops was today renamed “Edinburgh Bark Station” to celebrate the arrival in the city of nationwide pet retailer Jollyes.

Edinburgh Park Station tram stop will be known as “Edinburgh Bark Station” for the whole of December, and one of the city’s iconic trams has been given a pet-themed makeover for the month to mark the opening of Jollyes’ new store at Hermiston Gait Retail Park.

The station’s new name was unveiled today, Thursday, 1 December, by Jollyes CEO Joe Wykes, Edinburgh Trams’ Head of Finance and Business Support Tom Neil, and CEO of charity Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home Lindsay Fyffe-Jardine. They arrived on the new-look tram to perform a short renaming ceremony at the station.

To reflect the fact that all pets, and not just dogs, are catered for at Jollyes, the tram has been given new livery for December featuring the Jollyes logo and Zeus, a pet cat owned by Kate Smith, a member of the Edinburgh Trams team.

Also, on board the tram for its maiden outing in Jollyes colours were representatives of Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home from Seafield, Jollyes’ charity partner for the opening.

Jollyes is putting the finishing touches to the Hermiston Gait store – its fifth in Scotland – which will officially open on Friday, 9 December, at 10.00am.

As part of its partnership with Edinburgh Trams, a special tram will leave St Andrew Square for Edinburgh ‘Bark’ station at 9.40am on opening day – Friday, 9 December.  Passengers will be encouraged to bring their pets aboard the special pet-friendly service with all fares being donated to Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home.

And so that visitors can find their way to the new Jollyes, the route will be marked out from the Edinburgh Bark Station platform with paw prints from stop to store.

A fun-packed line-up of events is planned for the opening weekend, including:

  • the arrival of the dedicated Jollyes tram to coincide with the opening on Friday 9 December
  • a piper to greet arrivals at Edinburgh Bark Station on 9 & 10 December
  • goodie bags for the first 200 visitors across Friday & Saturday
  • a radio competition on Forth Radio  giving people the chance to win one of five £25 vouchers to spend in the store
  • the chance to win prizes by playing Jollyes’ “wheel of fur-tune” on Friday & Saturday.
  • facepainting on Saturday 10 December from 10.30-1.30pm
  • The special appearance of Princess the Unicorn at 10.00am on Saturday 10 December

Joe Wykes said:

When we approached Edinburgh Trams about renaming the station Edinburgh Bark they thought the idea was the cats’ whiskers. We hope it will put a smile on people’s faces.

We’re very proud to see our name on one of Edinburgh’s iconic trams and we couldn’t think of a better way to let the people of the city know that we’ve arrived.

We’ve worked hard to create a store the city can be proud of. It’s in a great location alongside some of the best-known brands in retailing and we hope it’s going to be a magnet for pet lovers and their pets from Edinburgh and the surrounding areas.

Tom Neil of Edinburgh Trams said:

We hope commuters, shoppers and visitors to the city will see the funny side of the new name for the stop and enjoy seeing Zeus on his travels.

The 7,000 square feet store will employ 16 colleagues, led by store manager Angie Rennie who will step up to the flagship store after leading the team in Stirling.  Jollyes Edinburgh will have a new concept frozen raw food ‘shop-in-shop’ and a community pet clinic and grooming spa.

The new Hermiston Gait store follows two Scottish store openings in six months – at Stirling in June and Glenrothes in October.

The three new openings represent an investment of around £1 million in Scotland by Jollyes this year.

Together with long-standing stores at Perth and Clydebank, the new opening takes the total in number of stores in Scotland to five.

Separately, Jollyes is preparing to open a new store in Llanelli, South Wales, on Saturday 10 December.

Backed by Kester Capital, Jollyes has more than 80 stores across the UK. In July, it acquired Penparc Pet Centres with five stores in the Midlands, which together with new openings in Cookstown, Wrexham, Southport, Stockton-on-Tees and Poole has accelerated the pace of expansion.