In a year when retailers and politicians are facing their own controversies, Glasgow’s biggest department store has come out ahead of its rivals in the battle to be the next flagship store for the city.
Merviyns, the department store that has been in Glasgow since 1897, has now won a huge public support vote in favour of its plan to open a new flagship store in the city in 2021.
The decision was welcomed by Glasgow City Council, which has spent the past four years lobbying for the new flagship shop to open by 2021.
“I’m really pleased we have secured the support of so many people, including the mayor of Glasgow and a whole community, to build this new store in 2021,” said council leader Ian Murray.
The debate has been a long-running one in Glasgow, where the city council has repeatedly called for the creation of a second branch of the department stores in order to boost the city’s economy.
The city council voted for the store to open in 2021, with the majority of voters in favour.
The shop is the second-biggest department store in Scotland after Merviyn’s, which was opened in 1914.
Mervyn’s had been planning to open the new store for at least 20 years, but it was halted when it was discovered that the city did not have the money to build a new branch of its department store.
“In this case we felt we needed to move forward with the shop, and we did,” said Craig O’Connor, Merviys managing director.
The council voted to put the plan forward to the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament.
However, the Scottish government has not yet confirmed whether it will support the plan.
Merivyn’s plans have been supported by the business community, which is keen to see more people working in the local economy.
“Merviys is a great example of what the Scottish economy can achieve if we work together, whether it’s building a new store or investing in local services,” said Stephen Liddell, chief executive of the Business for Scotland organisation.
“The Scottish Government has a real responsibility to work together with businesses and their customers in order for the country to thrive.”
The company says the new shop is a testament to the strength of the economy and the strong public support for the plan to invest in infrastructure.
“Mervilyn’s is the perfect example of why the Scottish market is so strong,” said Ms O’Connell.
“People love working and shopping in the area, and it’s great to see the store taking this opportunity to attract more shoppers.”
The new branch will have more than 3,000 square feet of space, with about 500 square metres reserved for a full-service restaurant, and other space reserved for retail.
The department store also has plans to add new technology and create more jobs.
“It’s about investing in the community and making sure we can attract more people into the local business community,” said Mr O’Conor.