Skip Navigation / Jump to Content



Modern Times: 1950s to The Present Day

Everyday Life


By W Hamish Fraser

Pollokshaws Co-op Rising standards of living in the years after 1950 brought a steady growth in demand for possessions and for variety in foodstuffs, particularly for convenience foods. Increasingly the multiple shops were meeting this demand. Competition in all areas was fierce and attractive displays and new modernised environments had also to be accompanied by lower prices. Some shops tried to attract custom through offering trading stamps, others increasingly pushed their own brands. The Co-op stores were among the first to adopt self-service in the 1960s, but they were generally slow to modernise and to innovate with the result that they faced a dramatic decline in the 1960s and 1970s.

Arnott Simpson By the early 1980s supermarkets, which had been spreading since the end of rationing in 1953, had over 50 per cent of the grocery sales. By the end of the decade it had risen to nearly 70 per cent. The actual ownership fell into fewer and fewer hands as distinctively Scottish chains were swallowed up by British-wide companies, such as Tesco and Asda. At the end of the 1970s Glasgow had eleven department stores, but more than half of them were now under the control of Fraser's, which, as the House of Fraser after 1947, embarked on twenty years of massive expansion. Most significantly they bought up MacDonald's and Wylie & Lochhead's stores across the street from the main Fraser store in Buchanan Street and created their main Glasgow flagship store. Copland & Lye and Daly's disappeared and Sauchiehall Street was losing some of its appeal in the difficult times for retailing of the late 1960s and 1970s. The Savoy Shopping Centre failed to halt the decline.

Buchanan Street at night On the other hand, during the 1980s Buchanan Street began a lengthy process of revival as the city's fashionable heartland. By the 1990s Glasgow was regaining its reputation as Scotland's fashion and style capital and was attracting high fashion outlets such as Armani and Versace and a wide range of specialist women's clothes shops. The increased use of the car made the city centre areas less attractive for everyday shopping and edge of town shopping centres and shopping precincts within the housing estates were becoming the norm. In all areas the advance of the multiple continues with less and less room for the independent trader. At the same time all fixed shops are now facing competition from the expansion of internet selling.

Quick Search

Photo Album

You have 0 images in your photo album.

View Photo Album

Log-In (Optional)

Not a user? Register now for FREE!

Other Options