‘It was 11 o’clock before my first customer and I opened at 8’

Gary Peline / Anniesland Butchers
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A butcher has issued a rallying call to customers after a dramatic drop in footfall on his road.

Gary Peline fears for his business after a slump in trade since Easter.

In desperation, Gary who owns Anniesland Butchers on Great Western Road, posted a heartfelt appeal on Facebook.

He urged people to “shop local and support all small businesses”.

After delivering food to people at the start of the pandemic, he said “I now find myself fighting for survival”.

“I don’t like one bit to put this post out but I feel I have no option but to ask for a bit of help from all of the community to support the small shops that (were) the lifeline in this horrible situation,” he wrote.

Gary, 49, who has been a butcher since he was 15, took over the business at Anniesland Cross five years ago

In that time, neighbouring shops have come and gone.

Long-established local butchers Gillespies closed across the road just before he took on his shop.

The latest blow to the road was the closure of the TSB bank in April.

Speaking to Glasgow West End Today, Gary said the bank’s departure and the pandemic were factors but said there was no clear or single reason for the recent slump.

Anniesland Butchers
Gary has battled the pandemic and urges people to shop locally.

“People say to me that Anniesland is just a ghost town, and it’s true.

“It was nearly 11 o’clock today before I had my first customer and I have been open since 8.

“Some mornings I am waking up and I don’t even want to come in.

“I didn’t want to write the post but I thought I had no option but to try and rally people round.

“We did our bit during the pandemic, and I just need a bit of help now.

‘Sandwiched’

“I have not got an answer for why it is so quiet. I have wracked by brains.

“I have got Morrisons behind me and then I have got Marks & Spencers and Aldi as well.

“I am sandwiched in the middle of them.

“Supermarkets are banging stuff out for pennies, so what chance have we got.”

TSB bank closed its Anniesland branch in April 2021.

Gary is hoping to take out a lease on a vacant butchers premises in Hyndland.

But he fears for his Anniesland shop if trade keeps falling.

“Most of the money I have made in five years I have pumped back into the shop, buying new machinery and new counters to bring it up to a standard that is good for myself and the customers.

“I am just by myself mostly now, but I bring a boy in on a Friday and a Saturday to help out.

“At one stage there were four of us here, and my wife came in to help.

“But what money I have I am now basically using to keep us going, and it’s not going to last forever.”

‘I didn’t want to write the post but I thought I had no option but to try and rally people round. We did our bit during the pandemic, and I just need a bit of help now’

Gary Peline

After writing his first post on Monday, he followed up his appeal with a thank you.

He wrote on Tuesday: “I personally thank each and everyone that came into the shop today as each and everyone of yous lifted my spirit and made today worth while to get out of bed for.

“It was great to see old faces and new ones that made my day, and brought the smile back to what was a gloomy face.”

Cllr Elspeth Kerr backed Gary’s call for people to shop locally and support their local shops.  

“It is a huge shame that the TSB branch at Anniesland Cross is now closed but I would like to remind people that the post office can do a lot of the things that people would normally have done at a bank.  

Gary has thanked customers who answered his rallying call.

“The Premiere shop that was RS McColls has a post office in it and you can deposit money, lift money and check your bank balance in a post office nowadays. 

“Also I would like to encourage people to use the post office as if we don’t use it we will lose it too.

“Maybe if we get this message out there footfall will increase for all of the shops.”

Cllr Ade Aibinu said: “The closure of Anniesland TSB Branch is highly disappointing both for elderly local residents and businesses who rely on footfall. 

“I appeal to the SNP council leadership to engage more with business owners in the city as more often than not, their responses have been reactionary. 

“The SNP minority administration must now work with local businesses who have been impacted by this closure, and come up with alternative strategies especially in light of the pandemic.”


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