GLASGOW shoppers had a cracking Easter weekend by going on a multi-million pound spending spree.

Thousands packed retail malls in and around the city to snap up the latest summer fashions - from tops to sandals - as the area basked in four days of warm sunshine.

From the Glasgow Fort Shopping Park in the east to the sprawling Braehead complex to the west, hundreds of thousands flocked to the shops.

Traders at the Fort reported an estimated Easter spend of £7million after 160,000 people splashed out at the horse-shoe shaped mall's stores, restaurants and cinema from Good Friday through to the close of business last night.

That was more than 2200 shoppers up on a year ago with each visitor at the weekend spent on average £43.75.

Fort manager Phil Goodman said: "We have enjoyed an extremely busy weekend.

"The atmosphere has been fantastic with the combination of the great weather and long weekend off for many people.

"Our restaurants and cinema were particularly busy with families and strong sales have also been reported in our fashion outlets with people shedding off their winter woollies and shopping for summer clothes."

Strong trading comes at a time when the mall is undergoing a £45m extension which will generate 500 jobs next summer and lead to the launch of a Marks & Spencer flagship outlet, four new stores and a restaurant.

Rivals across Glasgow last night spoke of bustling crowds all weekend but were reluctant to disclose footfall numbers or the level of spend, although all admitted millions had been spent at the cash tills.

Both Buchanan Galleries and the St Enoch complex in the centre of Glasgow were busy but officials were not available for comment.

However, millions of pounds were also spent at the Silverburn shopping mall on the city's South Side although takings and shopper numbers were not disclosed for commercial reasons.

But a spokeswoman said: "It has been a busy weekend and has resulted in a large spend. Fashion stores reported how the good weather saw shoppers buying sandals and T-shirts for the first time this year in readiness for the summer."

No officials figures were released by retail chiefs at Braehead though millions of pounds were also raked in at the mall.

A spokesman said: "We have had an extremely busy Easter weekend and people seem to be wanting something more than just a shopping trip.

"We've noticed that visitors to the mall are staying a lot longer than usual as they are making a day out of their visit and enjoying the cafés, champagne bar and sit-down restaurants we have here."

Mall bosses also laid on farm-themed arts and crafts for children with the Easter activities proving a big hit.