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FRIENDS Danielle and Sarah were up at the crack of dawn to be at the head of the queue at Braehead Shopping Centre when it re-opened yesterday (Monday)

The girls were waiting more than an hour for the centre’s Primark store to open its doors at 7am.

Danielle, 31, said: “This is really quite exciting and the feeling is like being a child at Christmas.”

Both Danielle and Sarah work at Glasgow Airport and haven’t seen as much of each other during lockdown as they usually do.

“As well as coming to Braehead for shopping it’s also a bit of a social catch-up for us,’ said 25-year-old Sarah. “We haven’t been at work together for a while, so we thought we’d meet up outside Braehead.”

Both girls also wanted to make sure they were first in the queue at Primark, as hundreds of customers queued outside the store before opening.

Danielle added: “I missed coming to the shops during lockdown because you can see and fell the quality of the clothes you’re buying when you’re in a store.”

Sarah said: “We’re going to take our time and walk around the store and fill our baskets with anything that takes our fancy.”

And after more than an hour shopping in Primark, the girls came out with shopping bags bulging.

“That was really enjoyable,” said Sarah.

Braehead opened earlier than normal yesterday, as non-essential stores began trading again after the Scottish Government eased Coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Normally, Braehead would open at 10am, however along with the centre’s Primark store opening at 7am, several other stores began trading at 8am, as they welcomed shoppers back for the first time since Boxing Day, last year.

Marks and Spencer, JD Sports, The Disney Store, Next, New Look and Mac Cosmetics opened at 8am and Clarks shoe store at 9am.

A range of measures have been introduced at Braehead to keep staff and visitors safe and protect them from Coronavirus. They include social distancing, insisting people wear a mask unless they have dispensation, floor stickers and signage showing a one-way system for getting around the centre, enhanced cleaning regimes and free hand sanitisers throughout the centre.

Braehead’s centre director, Peter Beagley said: “You could see the joy on the faces of our visitors after they were able to get back to shopping and feel a sense of some sort of normality.

“We had a steady flow of shoppers throughout the day and overall we were very pleased how things went.

“People seem to accept the measures we have put in place and appreciate that if we follow Government guidelines, we can all enjoy the shopping experience, as well as our many cafes and restaurants.”