One of Scotland's leading retail figures has called on Glasgow's city centre stores to extend their trading hours.
Susan Nicol, general manager of St. Enoch Centre and regional operations director for Europe, Ivanhoe Cambridge, believes longer opening hours for retailers would deliver a major boost for the city.
"An integral part of St. Enoch Centre's £150 million redevelopment programme was a commitment to ensuring that Glasgow has a vibrant and thriving city centre and we've worked closely with the city and our retail partners to constantly improve our offer over the last three years," she said.
"Glasgow City Council has done a great deal to regenerate the city centre and, in particular, the waterfront area. However, I believe that, by extending their trading hours, our leading retailers would help to breathe life and bring atmosphere back into the city centre in the evening by encouraging shoppers and tourist visitors to spend more time in the heart of Glasgow.
"The city has a fantastic retail offering second only to London's West End and I believe it makes sense to maximise the potential it offers, particularly at a time when the sector in general has faced some major challenges.
"We've already had preliminary discussions with some of our key anchor stores and I'm hopeful that in the coming months St. Enoch's offer will extend into the evening and we will be encouraging other retailers in the city to follow our lead."
She continued: "When it opened 21 years ago, St. Enoch was the catalyst for shopping centres in Scotland and paved the way for the retail powerhouse that Glasgow has become. Having just completed the first phase of our redevelopment programme, we're fully aware that we can't stand still and our aim is to continue to set the agenda by identifying ways to build on Glasgow's strong retail profile."
Currently St. Enoch Centre offers late-night shopping until 8pm on Thursdays. The redevelopment programme has seen a massive transformation of the centre and the introduction of a host of new retailers including Hamleys, H&M, Henleys, Folli Follie, Pulp, Fossil and Swatch as well as major investment in refurbishment by many of the centre's anchor stores.
Recently it was announced that Harvey Nichols, one of the UK's leading retail brands, is to open its first pop up shop in Scotland at the centre in time for the Christmas season.
Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stuart Patrick added: "There is undoubtedly an increasing demand for longer opening hours with changes in people's lifestyle, and we need to ensure that our city centre maintains its position as a leading destination at a UK level by continuing to offer the best possible shopping and leisure experience. Shopping is a major leisure activity in its own right for both residents and tourists, playing a significant role in the £700m spent by some 2.8m visitors coming here each year."
Posted: 22 March 2019