OAK Mall bosses say jingle tills are still ringing this Christmas despite the loss of one of the centre's biggest names.

Manager Claire Jefcoate says some retailers are doing well but acknowledges that the recent exit of Marks and Spencer to Port Glasgow has been a blow.

However she says that the difficulties being experienced by the centre are not unique and affect many other towns and high streets.

Ms Jefcoate said: "Our shoppers have missed Marks & Spencer.

"Retail is difficult everywhere, not just in the Oak Mall.

"Our footfall is reduced with the loss of M&S, but our conversion rate has increased.

"That means the people who are coming into the centre are spending more.

"We had a good weekend last weekend and footfall was up."

Ms Jefcoate says some a number of tennats are performing well against last year including the three travel agents, Greggs and Fresh.

She said: "Barrhead Travel, Tui and Thomas Cook are within the top 10 of their retail groups which is good news for Greenock, and Greggs is one of the most successful stores.

"Specsavers, following their expansion, are delighted that their customers have increased."

Ms Jefcoate says Oak Mall customers have remained loyal despite the attractions of Port Glasgow Retail Park.

She added: "Our customers come to meet people. It's a social hub to come into the town centre.

"The retail park is a modern way of shopping that lacks the social interaction that town centres bring."

Last minute Christmas shoppers who spoke to the Tele said they had mixed feelings about the centre.

Ann Marie Roberts, 57, from Larkfield, said: "I'm just about finished my shopping. I think the Oak Mall is poor, there's no kids shops like Mothercare.

"There's not a great variety or a decent toy shop or shops selling designer clothes for teenagers."

Praising the Mall, Irene Grey, 63, from Skelmorlie, said: "My Christmas shopping is done and wrapped. I did a lot of shopping in here at Primark and M&Co. I think it's okay.

"I'm sad that M&S is gone, I loved M&S.

"I don't think it should have moved to Port Glasgow but it's gone and that's it.

"I think bigger branded shops would help but I don't think the town centre lends itself to that."