Mon. May 23rd, 2022

A TOTAL of 37 stores now lie empty on what was once a bustling street in Glasgow city centre.

Sauchiehall Street has seen a sad decline in recent years, with a range of retailers leaving the units.

Many of the units are boarded up

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Many of the units are boarded upCredit: Les Gallagher – The Scottish Sun
BHS was one of the stores that didn't survive

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BHS was one of the stores that didn’t surviveCredit: Les Gallagher – The Scottish Sun

Marks and Spencer announced it will be the latest store to shut its branch on the street.

The news comes following an announcement in May last year that 30 M&S stores across the UK will close, owing to “changing shopping habits”.

Glasgow City Council says the decline of Sauchiehall Street is due to “major changes in retailing”, which have been accelerated by the Covid pandemic.

A spokesperson for the local authority said: “The work that was done to improve the street’s public realm and bring economic and environmental benefits to this part of the city centre, between Charing Cross and Rose Street, will now be followed by the Sauchiehall Precinct, between Rose Street and Buchanan Street.

“There was significant investor interest as a result of the Sauchiehall Avenue, with schemes such as McLellan Works (at the McLellan Galleries) and a number of new premises opening after the work there was completed.

“The wider Avenues programme – funded through the Glasgow City Region City Deal – will bring these benefits to streets across the city centre.

“All town and city centres are facing challenges such as major changes in retailing, which have been accelerated by the pandemic, and there is now a move to mixed-use of properties, with what were traditionally 100% retail properties transition to a mix of retail, office, leisure, residential and commercial uses. Working from home for so many has meant a decline in footfall in town and city centres.”

The Marks and Spencer branch, which opened in November 1935, was just one of a number of department stores that lined the popular shopping venue, including nearby Watt Brothers, which closed in 2019.

It is not yet known if jobs will be lost at the branch or if staff will be redeployed elsewhere.

‘A LOT OF THE SHOPS ARE CLOSING NEVER TO OPEN AGAIN’

Our reporter took to the street to find out what the public thought about the closure.

Gordon Brownie, 79, from Glasgow, said: “It’s dreadful. I’ve lived here for 30 years and I take this walk down Sauchiehall Street and I just shake my head every time I go down here.

“A lot of shops are closing never to open again and I think before the year is out there’s going to be a lot more.”


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Roz Rossi, 63, from Glasgow, said: “It’s dreadful. It’s not pleasant in any way to walk down. I know they have to change things because of the way retail has gone. They do say they have to try and re-purpose things.”

Ann Doohan, 60, from Glasgow, added: “It’s terrible now, isn’t it. Everything is shutting down. I work in the town so I used to love going in the shops.”

Sauchiehall Street is struggling due to major changes in retailing

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Sauchiehall Street is struggling due to major changes in retailingCredit: Les Gallagher – The Scottish Sun
The street was once busy with shoppers

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The street was once busy with shoppersCredit: Les Gallagher – The Scottish Sun
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