How The Savoy is getting a modern twist to bring back shoppers

The venture is bringing new faces to the centre thanks to new food outlets and retailers.

Vegan grilled cheese from Faceplant Foods is on the menu at Colab. <strong>Faceplant Foods</strong>
Vegan grilled cheese from Faceplant Foods is on the menu at Colab. Faceplant Foods

An institution since the 70s, The Savoy Centre with its neon blue sign was once at the heart of Glasgow’s thriving shopping district.

But like many other businesses, the shopping mall on Sauchiehall Street has fallen on hard times, as high street stores struggle and footfall declines in the area.

However, part of the building has undergone a transformation, with the ground floor welcoming new venture Colab, which aims to support and promote community, culture and cuisine with a host of new businesses.

The curated space features a number of independent stores selling everything from printed clothing to hand-stitched goods, with food stalls offering poke bowls and vegan grilled cheese sandwiches.

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Natalia Codona, from Colab, says the project is breathing new life into the space, merging old and new businesses together under one roof.

“We’re bringing in a new demographic which of course all the tenants can benefit from and the new tenants,” she explains.

“It’s been great the response from them. They’re all very excited to be part of an exciting new development.”

Poh-Ling Tan from Pie in the Sky, which sells homemade crafts, says that Colab is bringing new faces into the Savoy Centre.

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“Now we’re getting a different generation coming in and it’s really nice to see the old and new mixing together,” she says.

“I think other cities are kind of doing the same,” adds Robert Chambers from Social Recluse, a clothing company.

“Liverpool, Manchester so it’s great to see Glasgow kind of catching up with that and changing the old structures turning them into something new.”

Ritchie Munro, from poke bowl restaurant Kohi, believes the space is a welcome addition to the area.

“It’s nice to have some new energy and new life in this part of the city. I think Sauchiehall Street was struggling a little bit,” he adds.

Fires at Glasgow School of Art and Victoria’s nightclub alongside a tough economic climate have left businesses struggling.

But retailers based in the centre long before Colab opened believe the modern approach for The Savoy is an excellent step forward.

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“I think a lot of the older traders are not really sure about what’s going on at the minute but I think it’s great,” says Thomas Rae, who works as a tailor in the centre. “I’m all for it.”

“The place looks really clean. It looks fresh and I like the young vibe about the place.”

Since opening, shoppers have praised the Savoy’s new look, saying it has been vastly improved and that it is much nicer to visit.

It is hoped that The Savoy can enjoy a resurgence in popularity thanks to the introduction of Colab.


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