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Bicester Village, Bicester Outlet Shopping, Oxfordshire, Retail Jobs, Retail Careers, Luxury Fashion


Sima Kumar Bicester Village, Bicester Outlet Shopping...

Pt. 2: The Bicester Village Advantage

Bicester Village, Bicester Outlet Shopping, Oxfordshire, Retail Jobs, Retail Careers, Luxury Fashion
Image via Bruce Mars from Pexels
Did you know most Londoner’s who live and work in the city commute an average of one hour to work from their home? And that is when there are no delays on London Underground & diversions of bus routes. Driving means becoming good friends with gridlock. Also known as, going nowhere really fast.
Retail workers are often on shift work. Hours can vary. Until recently, there was no night tube. This left anyone in the hospitality or healthcare industries stranded. Late night retail shifts meant running to catch connections so you didn’t miss the last train if you live outside of London or paying for an Uber. But, ahhhh… this is the price one pays to live and work in a world-class city like London, right?
Wrong! Only forty-six minutes out of London from Marylebone station, hundreds of Londoners are enjoying a relaxing commute into the countryside to their jobs in Bicester Village. This world renown shopping destination ranks second highest as a tourist destination for out of country visitors. Statistics show more and more UK residents are making their way into the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside to get their fill of luxury retail at discounted prices.
Image via Bruce Mars from Pexels
One of the ways Directory offers bespoke services is working with each candidate to identify their short-term and long-term goals. From here, founders Younus Desai and Javid Pathan, both graduates of LCF and seasoned veterans in the world of luxury retail management, consult temporary and permanent candidates how to be strategic with their decisions. Quite often a candidate comes in loving a particular brand the agency works with, yet from a personality and culture fit, they are better suited to another brand partner. Having this insight into brands and relationships with hiring managers means candidates can be placed with a brand they are better suited for, thereby reducing churn. This is a win-win for both the candidate and the client. 
As young graduates and millennials want to move out of the countryside and head to the bright lights and big city life of London, how can candidates who are wanting to move to the upper levels of management in London leverage Bicester Village to fast track their career goals?  Here are 5 reasons.
Image via Bruce Mars from Pexels
  1. Higher visibility for star sellers with London based Head Office teams. It’s no secret HQ always have their eyes and ears to whose performing well in retail. By choosing to work in a destination such as Bicester Village, high performing staff easily stand out with key decision makers. The brands located in Bicester Village receive regular visits from high ranking head office staff monthly, the opportunity to get face time is much higher than working in busy London locations. As senior teams make the journey to Bicester Village out of London, they all share how they begin to relax as soon as they see more space and greenery. By the time they arrive at their respective boutiques, the edge of London has melted and they are more present and aware. This shift in disposition creates opportunities to connect, share experiences and future goals. HQ takes notice and candidates, in turn, are noticed.
  2. Agency candidates have more eyeballs on them. Especially temp workers. Temp workers haven’t been hired full-time by the brand but are fulfilling an essential need the brands have, especially in peak season trade of summer and Christmas. Directory temp candidates who are looking to pick up the maximum amount of hours instantly stand out when they showcase they can integrate within existing teams, learn products quickly, understand the diverse clientele and sell to brand guidelines. As an agency candidate in a destination location, Younus and Javid receive direct feedback. This feedback is passed onto each candidate so they aren’t in the dark about how things are going. This is the most effective path to joining teams as permanent hires and reaping the full benefits the brand has to offer. “Temp to perm” is a very common phrase within the agency. Those who work hard are rewarded.
  3. Deep dive into working with a diverse client base. Many brands at Bicester are teaching teams basic Mandarin to be able to greet customers and bridge the culture and language gap. Candidates with second or third languages do extremely well working at Bicester for this very reason. However, if you have a goal to move into being a Deputy or Department Manager in London, working in the trenches of Bicester Village is a strategic way to chart your path. Being able to multi-task, work in a busy environment with multiple customer demands, provide exceptional customer service to customers from all over the world means candidates are developing both hard and soft skills. As candidates receiving brand training, clients are valuing more soft skills such as listening, self-control, positivity, assertiveness, conflict resolution and empathy.  When one day can feel like you’ve been at the UN all day, these skills begin to rank higher and candidates who demonstrate them are noted for future growth within the company.
  4. Work life balance. What’s that you say? One manager we spoke to at a renown French luxury brand who is a client of Directory’s said her time with her boyfriend is so much more relaxed because she has this calm journey home to London from Bicester, and the commute time is exactly the same as when she worked in a different role in a central London location! Because of the location and how the outlet centre is designed, workers get to leave and go home. As life gets more stressful and hectic, the quality of distinct boundaries from work to home has become more important. The result, as crazy as it sounds, is you get to leave work at work! This has a profound impact on the mental health of retail staff and leads to greater job satisfaction.
  5. Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows the camaraderie that comes with these jobs. My own relationship with Younus and Javid began 22 years ago on the shop floor of Harvey Nichols. Retail workers at Bicester Village rank camaraderie very high on their work satisfaction. And it’s not just at the brand one candidate is working at. Staff find it much easier to get to know fellow retail industry colleagues from other brands as they pop in and out of different boutiques, spark up conversations, go on breaks together and build friendships. An added bonus of this is that brands get to know how things work at different retailers. This is where the retail teams become invaluable in market research as the luxury retail industry is often shrouded in secrecy as to how things work. The brands benefit by being able to try new models of selling and training to cater to the same customer base and meet their demanding KPI’s.
Image via Bruce Mars from Pexels 
If you would like to explore current opportunities at Bicester Village and discuss how a job with a brand out of London could help you achieve your retail career goals in a more strategic way, contact Directory by sending your CV and cover letter to with ‘Bicester Village’ in the subject line.