GLASGOW is gearing up for Christmas – with some of its biggest shopping malls preparing for one of their busiest weekends of the year.

City retailers are bracing themselves for bumper sales as hundreds of thousands of festive shoppers are expected to invade stores.

St Enoch Centre has already experienced its first Christmas rush of the year – and bosses expect record numbers of shoppers on Saturday.

With just 26 shopping days left until Christmas, St Enoch Centre general manager Susan Nicol said: "All the indications are that this weekend is going to be an extremely busy one.

"For the last two Saturdays we've had more than 100,000 shoppers through our doors and, with our figures up by around 5% on last year, we're expecting to welcome more than 120,000 visitors to the centre this Saturday."

Buchanan Galleries anticipates thousands of shoppers "armed with their November pay" will visit the city centre mall this weekend.

Centre manager Kathy Murdoch said: "For many people the end of the month signals pay day and this is a big milestone when it comes to Christmas shopping. We're getting ready for a busy weekend ahead.

"Our extended Christmas opening hours also start next week and are another big draw for those looking to pop into a store on their way home for work.

"The big things for shoppers at the moment are convenience and cost savings."

Scots are expected to spend around £5.524billion this Christmas, according to the Centre for Retail Research and Office for National Statistics.

On the South Side of the city, Silverburn bosses predict they will welcome more than 100,000 shoppers.

Centre director David Pierotti said: "It's the recipe of large high street stores, individual shops selling unique gifts and late-opening restaurants all under one roof which gives Silverburn its appeal.

"Free parking is another major incentive."

Silverburn's single biggest shopping day is expected to be Saturday December 15, when an estimated 60,000 gift-hunters will visit.

Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: "The picture these figures paint is extremely positive and demonstrates the city centre's ability to meet high demand and deliver to consumers over the festive period."