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Sima Kumar Bicester Village, Bicester Outlet Shopping...

Bicester Village Outlet. Pt. 1

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Image via Shakespeares England

As warmer temperatures start surfacing along with cherry blossoms and magnolia buds, so does our desire for a new, lighter and brighter wardrobe. But not everyone is able to get their fill of luxury retail at the high ticket items in Central London flagship shops peppered into Mayfair, Fitzrovia, Chelsea & Knightsbridge. What is a lover of luxury to do?
Head one hour driving or 46 minutes by train to Bicester Village Outlet shopping, of course!
This well-curated shopping experience shows how brick and mortar has needed to provide ‘experience’ into the equation to attract consumer dollars. Home to 160 luxury and lifestyle brands Bicester has something for everyone.

Tourists love this place! Did you know Bicester Village is the second most popular tourist attraction amongst Chinese visitors, second only to Buckingham Palace!  On the day I visited with the Directory team for an offsite with new clients, the weather was windy and dismal. Yet Burberry, in particular, was so busy it looked like Waitrose supermarket two days before Christmas. 
Shoppers to Bicester Village can enjoy up to 60% off their favourite brands. One of the senior manager’s we spoke to at a renown French luxury house said they don’t offer ‘last season’ stock. It’s more about shifting inventory out of the Central London locations to make room for new inventory and yes, some sale items. I walked out with a Céline coat at a whopping £3,700 discount. Paying £1,176 for a coat that I will easily wear for another 3 to 5 years, and something I had coveted but never even considered purchasing. If that seems steep still, I also walked out with a DSquared knit cap. Something you can wear in the UK all year round. It was £30 down from £86. I was looking for the cult Acne knit cap with signature patch logo but they hadn’t arrived in Bicester yet. Anyone after this signature item, however, can check in as Spring stock hits the London shops and not have to pay £150 for it.

What started out as primarily a tourist attraction, now has become more regional. Studies show 40% of visitors to Bicester Village Outlet centre come from the UK. Having said that, the destination shopping centre ranks second as a tourist attraction as shown below in a study published by The Telegraph newspaper. 


Image via The Telegraph

Image via Ministry of Fun

With its place firmly secured in the top two amongst tourists and now becoming more popular amongst the Brits, it’s really easy to travel to. One hour by car, it has ample designated parking. However, if you’re a Londoner, like the entire Directory Team, you can easily do a city slicker trip from Marylebone Station. The journey is beyond peaceful and at only 46 min. it’s faster to get from Central London to Bicester Village that it is for me to get from my home in Hampstead to meet friends at Shoreditch House in East London! The plus side, you’re greeted by a welcoming committee, provided with an easy to read map, and the site is growing it’s concierge services. 
Many of the hotels also offer coach trips to the outlet centre. With more options for food and drink and the cutest food carts you’ve seen, Bicester is an easy and relaxing way to part with your hard-earned money. So whereas you may need to let out your spare room if you have one, you won’t need to remortgage your house.

Next week I’ll be sharing some of the career advantages for those looking to work in luxury retail, in heading to Bicester Village as your location of choice. In the meantime, if you’re interested in roles available in the luxury retail sector at Bicester Village, contact the Directory team by emailing your CV and cover letter to info@directory-group.com, using the subject line “Bicester Village”.