SHOPS in Glasgow were bursting at the seams over the weekend with the start of December marking the start of the festive frenzy.

People packed city-centre stores and shopping malls desperate to start present-hunting.

The city centre was particularly busy thanks to the Christmas market in St Enoch Square, the ice rink and fairground rides in George Square and the St Andrew's Day celebrations.

The bright, dry weather on Saturday and Sunday also encouraged families to hit the shops.

The St Enoch Centre, Buchanan Galleries, Glasgow Fort and Silverburn all enjoyed the sound of jingling tills.

Susan Nicol, general manager of St Enoch Centre, said: "Our visitor number built steadily throughout November with more than 100,000 shoppers coming through our doors on the last couple of Saturdays of the month. We are continuing to see the benefit of the substantial investment we've made in the centre over the last few years and our figures have consistently been around 5% up on last year.

"We had forecast a bumper weekend and that is certainly been borne out in the response from shoppers.

"On Saturday we exceeded expectations with almost 130,000 people visiting the mall and Sunday was also extremely busy with many of our retailers reporting heavy footfall."

Silverburn reported a busy weekend and a growing number of people spending a considerable time in the mall.

A spokesman said: "We had a really busy weekend which kicked off early Friday morning."

Silverburn was open until 10pm on Friday and Saturday and was still busy at the end of the day.

The spokesman said: "We had around 100,000 people in between Friday and Sunday. Usually shoppers will spend around two hours in the shops but many are coming and staying in excess of five of six hours.

"They are looking to do a significant amount of shopping but are also staying to have lunch or something to eat in the evening.

"Shoppers appear to be holding back on some items in the hope there will be discounts but we anticipate the sales will not be early this year.

"We believe stores will follow the trend of last year when they got the right amount of stock in so didn't have a huge amount to shift.

"As a result it is likely there will not be significant discounts until close to, or even after Christmas."

Buchanan Galleries also enjoyed a busy weekend with shoppers out in force.

Centre Manager Kathy Murdoch said: "We knew this weekend was going to be a busy one with it being the end of the month, and it seems most of Glasgow has been hitting the shops.

"Saturday was jumping and there were points where you couldn't even see the floor. It was the same story on Sunday with the centre being as busy at 10.30am as it usually is on a Saturday lunchtime.

"Christmas gift items have been big sellers over the weekend with toiletries doing particularly well.

"Our fashion retailers were also very busy with queues outside Hollister on Saturday."

Glasgow Fort Shopping Park has enjoyed its busiest weekend of the year so far with more than 80,000 people spending an estimated £4millon.

Centre manager Phil Goodman said: "We definitely saw a marked increase in footfall this weekend which is a really positive sign for the retail industry.

"With only another three weekends before the big day, it is starting to feel really festive at Glasgow Fort.

"We are also getting ready for our midnight opening, which begins on December 17."