Review of Bicester Village
Bicester Village is an outlet village near Oxford, but unlike other outlet villages we have visited before it features top designer brands. A good way to think about Bicester is to look at it as the next step after sample sales, you will find things there for a very good price but they won’t be this season. It is also worth noting that the stores don’t know what they will get in each season so it is best to go to the village with an open mind, don’t look for a specific item from a specific store.
They have a huge variety of shops there, ranging from fashion to homeware and stationery, but these were some of our favourites:
Not only do they have incredible shops but the selections of restaurants, cafes and street food carts are pretty inclusive, whatever your dietary preferences, there is something for everyone.
Now visiting in the time of a pandemic has meant that not only do you have to sanitise your hands whenever you enter a shop but it has also meant the introduction of virtual queues for shops. This is an incredibly useful system, as otherwise you would be stuck in queues for most of the day. It’s not a flawless system though, when the virtual queue fills up you cannot register to get in the shop so you actually have to be quite lucky to enter some of the shops. We could not get into Dior for the whole day no matter how hard we tried. So if you go to Bicester Village, get there as early as you can and register for the most popular shops as soon as you can.
Not only were the popular shops nearly impossible to get in to but the village itself was very busy, even though they had social distancing measures in place. This means if you go later in the day you are likely to get stuck in a long queue to get into the village in the first place. To try to minimize the amount of time you spend queueing try to go on a weekday as there will be fewer people then. While in the village itself, most people ignored the social distancing measures which had been put in place, as you can see in the photo, so definitely avoid the village if you have health issues or are worried about catching the virus.
The prices themselves are pretty good for an outlet village, you can expect at least 50% off RRP with plenty of additional reductions depending on the time of year, just like normal shops have sales. As we went after lockdown, every shop was trying to get rid of leftover stock so nearly every single one had additional reductions.
Overall, Bicester Village is definitely worth a visit as long as you go with an open mind, don’t expect the same shopping experience as you would get in Selfridges. If you want to get good deals on some nice designer pieces it is definitely worth a visit.
On one final note, whenever you are about to buy something, enquire about whether they have any more outback because often the piece which is on the shop floor could have some damage to it. Make sure you fully inspect each piece before purchasing.
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