21 February 2019
Photographs: Sofia Teixeira Santos
Facebook event to celebrate the reopening of local Glasgow store attracts thousands
The Aldi store on High Street, at the edge of the Merchant City area of Glasgow, reopened on the 21 February after having closed for remodelling for almost two months. Local residents decided to throw a party to celebrate.
Five days before the reopening, Eilidh Hudson, 20, and Charlie Jordan, 18, students at the University of Strathclyde, created an event on Facebook to celebrate the occasion, at Rottenrow Gardens on campus. To their surprise the number of people interested in attending crossed the thousand mark in just two days.
Charlie said: “It started as a joke”. He and Eilidh came up with the idea to create the unique event while playing pool in a social after their regular orchestra rehearsal. The idea came from the “kind of events on Facebook like ‘Bring your Henry Hoover to ASDA’ because they are so popular recently… It is kind of the same reason but [our event] actually happened,” Eilidh said.
She said: “It’s wild! It’s been five days and this happened in just five days.” She added: “When the shop was closed it was just so inconvenient because we had to find another place to go shopping and no place was as cheap as Aldi. It really messed up my budget.”
Sita Korkiatphithuk, 23, a student at the University of Strathclyde, who expressed interest in the Facebook event was one of the many to show up early on the day of the reopening. She said: “I’m glad that they are re-opening because it is closer to my place, more convenient and cheaper.”
The event on Facebook registered 2,300 people going or interested (at the time of publication of this news story).
Charlie said: “I think the event has seemed relevant to so many students in the University accommodation as they relied on Aldi [for groceries shopping] last semester. [They] understood the event and enjoyed the humour of it! From there I think it spread as a bit of a joke.”
After the overwhelming response on Facebook, the event was shifted from Rottenrow Gardens to a local nightclub. Charlie said: “[The night] will be about students celebrating the return of their beloved local shop.”
Several students were opposed to the idea of shifting the venue and shared their views on the event page. A Facebook user commented: “Enjoy Light, everyone else will be at Rottenrow.”