24 June 2022/ Retail Guide

Find your next retail property to rent in Glasgow

Discover your next retail property to rent in Glasgow

Glasgow is Scotland’s largest urban centre. With world-famous cultural institutions and prime retail districts, Glasgow has the largest economy in Scotland and the third-highest GDP per capita of any city in the UK. It is without doubt an excellent location for retail businesses of every size and shape.

With a population of over 635,000, the city is located on the River Clyde in the West Central Lowlands of Scotland. From humble beginnings, Glasgow grew into a powerful port, becoming one of Britain’s main hubs for transatlantic trade in the 18th Century, and was widely regarded as the country’s second city during the industrial revolution.

After a period of decline and urban renewal in the mid-20th Century, the city re-emerged as a centre for culture and striking modern architecture. In 1990 it was named the European Capital of Culture, and in 2021 it hosted the all-important COP26 Climate Change Conference.

As a vibrant urban centre and the fifth most visited city in the UK, Glasgow offers huge potential for retail success. Whether you want to join the iconic brands or find that perfect first base for your business, you’ll find a varied range of quality units across the city. 

Explore where retail properties in Glasgow could take your business.

Retail opportunities in and around Glasgow 

There are numerous hot spots for retail business around Glasgow, from high-end boutiques to perfectly located modern malls and cutting-edge independents.

Glasgow Fort is accessed from Junction 10 of the M8 but is equally easy to reach by walking, cycling and public transport. Bright, modern and spacious, it houses over 100 high street and top brand stores, restaurants and cafes, from Argos and Clarks to M&S, Starbucks, Swarovski and Zara.

Princes Square, on Buchanan Street in the heart of Glasgow is home to 25 of the city’s finest shops, and includes 12 restaurants. The grand original buildings were completed in 1841, but were transformed into their current form as a prestigious shopping destination in 1988, and have more recently enjoyed a £7.5m refurbishment.

The emphasis is firmly on style, and in 2016 Princes Square was names ‘Scotland’s Favourite Building’. Global brands such as French Connection, Kurt Geiger and Reiss are all present, whilst food and drink can be enjoyed at Scottish specialists Cranachan, or chains such as Zizzi.

Glasgow’s creative spirit ensures there is a rich variety of independent retailers, making it an exciting location for your business. The Hidden Lane is a good example - take a stroll and you’ll find designers and crafters putting the emphasis on character and sustainability. De Courcy’s Arcade on Creswell Lane also features quirky boutiques, galleries and cafes.

Glasgow’s transport links connect to the UK and beyond 

Glasgow has a famous subway

The subway is a rapid way to get around Glasgow. Running every 4 minutes at peak times, it takes just 24 minutes to complete a circuit of all 15 stops. This quick and popular system is tailor-made for retail customers and staff alike.

Glasgow has five major rail stations

The main railway stations are Glasgow Queen Street, Glasgow Central, Yoker Station, Maryhill Station and Springburn Station. Glasgow Central and Queen Street provide connections to the rest of Scotland and the UK, including direct links to London.  

Glasgow has plenty of good bus and road networks

First Bus Glasgow operates more than 80 routes across the city. There is a choice of day and week tickets, offering unlimited travel. First Bus also operates an express service between the city centre and Glasgow Airport, which takes around 15 minutes.

Glasgow has an international Airport

Located less than 10 miles west of Glasgow city centre, Glasgow International Airport serves a range of destinations across Europe, North America and the Middle East. Carriers such as Jet2, easyJet, TUI and Loganair are based here. Currently around 9.4 million passengers pass through the airport each year, but this is expected to rise beyond 24 million by 2030. 

Retail businesses can enjoy plenty of leisure and entertainment in Glasgow

There are plenty of diverse entertainment opportunities in Glasgow. From modern art, opera, and topflight theatre, to film, football and iconic bands, the list goes on. The striking, modern OVO Hydro Arena is Scotland’s largest and the second busiest arena venue in the world. There other much loved smaller venues too, like King Tut’s wah Wah Hut and the Garage on the famous Sauchiehall Street.

For eating and drinking, you will also be spoiled for choice. There are indoor street food markets to savour, such as The Big Feed Street Food Social, complete with DJs and live music, and the Dockyard Social, a street food market near Finnieston which majors on high quality, ethically sourced food.

You’ll never be short of great places to enjoy a drink in Glasgow, from the atmospheric Scotia, said to be Glasgow’s oldest bar, to cocktails at The Corinthian Club, or the BrewDog Merchant City, where you can choose from 25 craft beers.

Dynamic office developments bring plenty of shoppers to Glasgow

Glasgow is Scotland’s main economic and business centre, offering an abundance of modern, well located office buildings. A prime example is the famous new development at 177 Bothwell Street in the heart of the city, where 305,000 sq. ft of top quality office space has been pre-let to tenants such as Virgin Money, BNP Paribas, AECOM and Transport Scotland.

Glasgow’s finance and related sectors employ more than 30,000 people, and a £1bn investment by the Glasgow International Financial Services District has created a further 15,000 jobs. The district houses major players such as JP Morgan, Barclays and The Weir Group.

This huge office-based working population provides high footfall for your retail offering, plus the volume of available office accommodation offers a range of choices if you need an administrative, logistic or management base.  

Discover your next office space to rent in Glasgow. 

Glasgow offers plenty of industrial space

Industrial space can be a vital part of your retail business – the ideal place to house stock and supplies. With its long industrial heritage, Glasgow can offer a large choice of industrial space, connected to the city’s extensive transport links.

The Gartcosh Industrial Park to the north east of the city centre occupies a strategic location at the heart of Scotland’s motorway network. In the east of the city lies Queenslie Park, with a range of industrial units, offices, yards and development land.

The 2,000 sq. ft. St Andrews Industrial Estate on the south side of Glasgow is just 2 miles from the city centre, with easy access to the M74 and M8 motorways. This well-known multi-let location offers ample shared parking and a service yard.

Find your next industrial space to rent in Glasgow.

Notable retailers and retail parks in Glasgow 

Glasgow offers a number of well-stocked retail parks, such as Prince’s Square in the heart of the city centre, the prestigious Glasgow Fort with almost 100 outlets, Buchanan Galleries, St Enoch’s Shopping Centre with its excellent food shops, and the Golden Z, which refers to the shape that Glasgow’s great shopping streets make on a map.

You will find many of the best high-street names across the city centre, including: 

  • John Lewis
  • Kurt Geiger
  • The LEGO Store
  • COS
  • M&S
  • Victoria’s Secret 

Glasgow is one of the most in demand and successful retail hotspots in the UK. If you’re ready to contact commercial agents to help you find retail property here, good agents in the area include:

  • Tay Letting 
  • Knight Frank 
  • LSH
  • Fisher German
  • Whyte & Barrie 

Facts about retail in Glasgow

  • Glasgow is the UK’s number 1 retail destination outside London’s West End. 
  • The city attracted 2.3 million tourists in 2018, spending £662m. 
  • In 2019, footfall on Glasgow’s Buchanan St numbered 52.7 million people. 
  • Lonely Planet called Glasgow a ‘shopaholics paradise’.

Where to discover more

 The retail sector never stops developing. You can stay up to date with all the latest changes here on Realla. Along with our destination guides, we have insight pieces on key topics from commercial real estate trends in 2022 to the evolution of industrial space in the UK.