He was the first person to take the helm of Glasgow's exciting new shopping centre.
Who was George Ritchie?

1 George Ritchie was the first manager of Glasgow’s St Enoch’s Centre, the giant glass-roofed shopping mall which caused a sensation when it opened in 1989. It was the biggest glass structure in Europe and was like nothing else shoppers had seen in the city. In an interview with the Glasgow Times around a year before he died, George said he got so fed up with all the jokes about the centre being like a greenhouse he decided to grow his own tomatoes. “Very successful they were too,” he said.

Glasgow Times:

2 Retail was in George’s blood – his father was the manager of Trerons, one of Glasgow’s oldest department stores. George planned to join the army following his National Service, but he met a young woman called Carmen, which changed his life. The couple were married in 1965 and have two sons and three grandchildren.

Glasgow Times:

3 After completing an apprenticeship at cabinet makers Wylie and Lochead in Buchanan Street, George moved to London to work for luxury department store Harrod’s. “That was an experience, the boss used to walk about in the shop floor in his bowler hat,” he told the Glasgow Times.

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4 After spells in other shopping centres, including Trerons, where he took over as managing director in 1975, remaining until the company merged with RW Forsyth in 1983, George got the job of general manager for the city’s new St Enoch Centre. The official opening ceremony took place in March 1990, with then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher doing the honours.

Glasgow Times:

5 George retired from St Enoch in 1999 and received a lifetime achievement award from Glasgow Chamber of Commerce. He was heavily involved with the Retail Trust.George sadly died in April 2020.