The manager of one of the city's most popular shopping destinations has urged authorities and retailers to work together to allow shops in the city centre to open later. Sue Nicol, general manager of the St Enoch shopping centre in Argyle Street, believes that late night opening during the week, as happens in London, will breathe life into the city centre and help improve the atmosphere in shopping precincts which tend to become very quite in the early evening.
Speaking this week, Ms Nicol commented:
"I believe by extending their trading hours, retailers would help to breathe life and bring atmosphere back into the city centre in the evening. We've already had preliminary discussions with some of our key anchor stores and I’m hopeful that in the coming months we will be encouraging other retail centres to follow our lead."
The drive to extend opening times to at least 7pm received backing from the management of other shopping centres in the city centre, including from the manager of the upmarket Princes Square mall, who said:
"I believe late night shopping would drive sales and cement the city’s reputation as a prime shopping destination."
The issue of a lull in activity caused by the gap between the closure of high street shops and revellers making their way to entertainment venues later in the evening, was highlighted by a journalist whose expectations of Glasgow's shopping venues were not matched by the reality. Following an evening visit to Sauchiehall Street, Mary Dejevsky commented earlier this month in the Independent newspaper that:
... This major thoroughfare is like any other British chain-dominated high street – except in one respect. When I strolled down it just before six in the evening, practically every shop, even the betting shop, was closed. Pubs and clubs may spring into life later, but in the early evening there was no reason to hang around.