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John Lewis plans to open longer during the Games

THE managing director of John Lewis in Glasgow has said the department store is hoping to open for longer hours during the Commonwealth Games to capitalise on the likely increase in the number of visitors to the city.

Kim Lowe, speaking as the retail group unveiled details on some of the ways it plans to celebrate its 150th anniversary, is hopeful agreement can be reached with other retailers and the city council.

She said: "We are looking to extend our trading hours over the period.

"We haven't quite yet decided what but we will be definitely opening longer. We are just negotiating as we would like to get everybody in the same place.

"I'm really supportive of what the Commonwealth Games organisers have done as they have learnt from London where they almost said don't go into [the city]. The Games organisers have been very proactive in saying Glasgow is open for business.

"There is definitely an effort and a will to respond to visitors and that extra footfall whether people are coming down from Aberdeen or from Jamaica."

Ms Lowe stated the Glasgow store's 2014 concession, which sells a range of official merchandise, has seen substantial weekly sales increases as the event gets closer.

She said: "The first thing we sold was a little Clyde and it was to a lady whose son had emigrated to Australia and she wanted to send her grandson something.

"We are getting quite a lot of that when people are wanting to celebrate Team Scotland as it is really the only time you can do that. There is a real buzz around it."

John Lewis will start its 150th anniversary celebration from May 2 with its stores around the UK participating.

An interactive exhibition tracing the employee owned company's roots back to John Spedan Lewis's drapers shop in 1864 will be set up in its Oxford Street branch in London.

A number of prints and designs from the John Lewis archives are also being revived while its restaurants and coffee shops will be serving dishes based on recipes from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Brands such as Jaeger, Ted Baker, Barbour, jo Malone, Alessi, Links of London and Silvercross have all produced items specifically for the anniversary.

Ms Lowe confirmed the Glasgow store will be working with Barnardos to support charity initiatives around the city.

Along with that she hopes to continue its partnership with Saint Roch's Secondary School and John Wheatley College to help young people further their educations and get ready for work.

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