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Commonwealth Games boost for St Enoch stores

GLASGOW'S St Enoch Centre has revealed its retail tenants enjoyed a 20 to 25 per cent average rise in sales during the Commonwealth Games.

The boost came as the centre, home to Hamleys, Top Shop, Mamas & Papas and The Disney Store, brought in 10,000 extra visitors during Glasgow 2014.

General manager Anne Ledgerwood hailed transport planners and retailers for ensuring the city centre remained accessible during the Games, and for communicating the message it remained open for business.

And she said fringe activities such as the Live Zone in Glasgow Green and the Merchant City Festival ensured the city attracted Scottish-based consumers during the event, as well as Games' ticket holders.

Ms Ledgerwood, who was recently appointed chair of the City Centre Retail Association, said: "There were days when the city was closed down to traffic, for example the day of the marathon.

"But because it was well planned and well communicated to people in advance, our footfall was actually up on that day compared to the previous year - despite the fact the car park was closed.

"People didn't avoid the city centre - they very much still got the message they could come in and it was still accessible." Figures disclosed by St Enoch reveal the centre saw major leaps in footfall over the first weekend of the Games.

Traffic rose by 7 per cent on Saturday, July 26, compared with the same day last year, and then by 28 per cent the following day.

The data compares with regional footfall increases of 0.8 per cent on the Saturday, year on year, and 11.5 per cent on the Sunday.

The St Enoch Centre recorded its busiest day on the final Saturday of the Games, August 2, when the 86,110 shoppers who came through its doors marked a near 10,000 rise on the same day last year.

While this represented a 22 per cent surge in footfall at the centre, the regional rise in footfall was measured at 10.4 per cent, according to figures from Experian.

Ms Ledgerwood said the run is continuing beyond the Games.

She said: "Interestingly for us, we will actually see that sales growth continue for a few weeks to come, because during the Commonwealth Games the traditional summer shoppers were not necessarily in force.

"The extra footfall and the extra sales were coming from visitors, from people coming into the city to soak up the atmosphere, people coming from abroad and wanting to take things back.

"I think we will see an elongated period of sales improvement, which again is great for retail."

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