What to buy in Glasgow, Scotland
Glasgow has positioned itself as an upmarket retail destination, the shopping is the some of the best in Scotland, and generally accepted as the No.2 shopping experience in Britain after London. Buchanan Street is the 7th most expensive place for retail space in the world, which means that there are an increasing number of designer clothes shops in areas like the Merchant City. Alongside this, the Council is putting pressure on more traditional shopping centres like the Barras where you can get remarkably similar-looking clothes for a more sensible price.
The nucleus of Glasgow shopping is the so-called “Golden Z”, made up of the continuous pedestrianized thoroughfares of Argyle Street, Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall Street. Here, virtually all of the major British big name retailers are represented. Buchanan Street is the most upmarket of the three, with prestigious names such as House of Fraser, Apple Store and Zara and other specialized designer stores. Ingram Street in the Merchant City has seen a boom in recent years for attracting more exclusive, premium brands like Bose, Bang and Olufsen, Ralph Lauren and so on.
Bath Street and Hope Street run parallel to the main pedestrianised streets, and if you want to get away from “chain store hell”, they have a fine selection of more quirky, local independent retailers selling everything from fine art, Scottish clothing, antiques and specialist hi-fi.
There are larger shopping malls on the city outskirts at Braehead, Silverburn and Glasgow Fort.
The Barras in the East End is the essential Glasgow shopping experience. Hundreds of market stalls selling everything you could possibly want and a load of other stuff too. Free entertainment available from time to time when the Police raid the place for counterfeit goods. All year Sa-Su 10:00-17:00; weekday opening in the weeks immediately before Christmas. This market is notorious for counterfeit good; especially DVDs and clothing. Pirated DVDs should be avoided at all costs, as the quality is often very poor.
The Buchanan Galleries, Buchanan Street, is a large shopping mall in the heart of the city centre which has all the usual British high street stores, its anchor tenant is John Lewis.
The St Enoch Centre. Europe’s largest glass roofed building – this huge mall is on St Enoch Square between Argyle Street and Buchanan Street, and a major extension and refurbishment program was completed in 2010.
Princes Square is an upmarket mall just off Buchanan Street in the city centre. Specializes in designer clothes shops, jewelry and audio equipment. Note, Grande Dame of British Fashion Vivienne Westwood has a store as well as a separate jewelry concession in Princes Square.
The Argyle Arcade is the city’s jewelry quarter housing Scotland‘s largest collection of jewelry shops. The L-shaped arcade connects Argyle Street and Buchanan Street. Shops here vary considerably – there are a selection of cheaper jewelry shops and a selection of luxury prestigious jewelers. Very commonly used as a short cut for shoppers between Buchanan Street and Argyle Street.
De Courcy’s Arcade is an unusual little shopping arcade with lots of second hand music and book shops and independent gift shops. Located just off Byres Road in the west end.
Byres Road. Check out the chichi shops and vintage stores in the West End.
Fat Buddha Store, 73 St Vincent Street. 9.30-6pm. Fat Buddha has become an institution in Glasgow since it opened its doors back in 2006, the only streetwear store in the city, it also stocks a wide range of books, magazines, home wares and carried the over 400 colors of spray paint, featured in the New York Times and appears in the Taschen Book 48 hours in Europe. Open every day, offering free Wi-Fi and coffee in the Book section, it’s a great place to whittle away a few hours.