Bicester Village is an outlet shopping centre where you can find luxury and designer stores with attractive and usually lower than high street prices. The place is located in Bicester, a town in Oxfordshire, after Buckingham Palace is the most visited place by Chinese tourist (so prepare yourself for queues)
Village has over 130 boutiques from the most luxurious brands like Gucci, Chloe, Burberry and Dior to Allsaints, Timberland and UGGS. If you are not looking to spend thousands on your shopping and you just planning to get some goods on the budget, it’s still worth for you to come there as an outlet offers wide selection of shops and products for everyone pocket.
My day at Bicester:
I was super excited to go there as I heard so many good opinions from my friends (and I saw the sort of the stuff they bought there) but everyone also told me that you have to be lucky because the stock is not always amazing and prices of designer pieces are still not easily affordable. I went there on Sunday morning, the busiest day for Bicester and I was lucky to get there by car, but you can also easily travel from London to Oxford and take a bus services going directly to the outlet. Travel from central London takes a bit over an hour, but we didn’t meet any traffic so the way was quick. Village offers free parking for cars and we didn’t have a problem to find a space, but I can imagine that around afternoon when it gets busier it may be difficult. Around 11 I finally entered the village! The layout of the place is really good and easy to move, feels like walking around any high street without hidden shops or places.
Queues & Discount
It was just one hour after opening and place was already crowded, so many people inside and outside the shops making it not very easy to walk, but it didn’t change my mood as I prepared for it so I started browsing around. The first thing I picked up in my hands was a bag in Chloe with “amazing” discount from £4,900 to £3,200 (it was a limited edition with snake skin so not only the price put me out of the shop) however my experience with the shop was great as they offered me a call once they will get the bag I was interested in and send me the pictures with a price and opportunity to keep it on side for me. That costumer service kept me in the good mood so I started my way through all shops. I checked every single boutique, I queue up couple times to get in and I did some shopping but not as good as I would expect (by knowing myself and my love to all this big brands). After a day there I share with you my top tips:
If you didn’t buy Gucci bag of your dream in regular boutique, you probably not going to do it there.
Even if you going to be lucky enough and they will have what you want in stock, usually prices in the biggest brands are still really high. You may end up paying 30% less of original price but £2,000 after discount is still £1,400 aka that’s still expensive. Plus the collection is often the ones from 1-3 years old so don’t think that all pieces are straight from catwalk.
Be ready for queues!
In rush hours some shops are really crowded to the point that you have to wait for your turn to get inside. Majority of the times I didn’t have to wait, but once I stayed in the queue to PANDORA for about 40 minutes. This is the way it is, but for PANDORA I didn’t regret a minute, discounts inside were really amazing.
Once you see something you like take it before someone else will.
The place has thousands of visitors a day, if you see something you like and the item is the last one, you probably won’t get it if you going to leave a shop and “think about it”. It happened to me. TWICE. The first time in Coach when I saw this cute cross body bag for £189 with extra 25% discount. They had around 5 of them on the shop floor, it was one of the first shops I went in so I thought maybe later. But guess what? When I came later it was gone! The same in Anya HIindmarch, amazing smiley bag reduce from £899 to £310, I didn’t buy it and when I decided to do it, it was gone. I can’t forgive myself even when I’m writing about it. In conclusion: Take it if you like it!
Check the Bicester Village website for the best offers and promotion.
Don’t go there in random time of the yea, it’s better to check when it’s their summer sale, winter sale or seasonal offers to get the best discounts and prices possible. The trip is a hustle and you want to get the best stuff!
You can find some items cheaper on sale in stores than in Bicester
What did I get?
It may surprise you, but I ended up buying just two classic shirts from Ralph Lauren ( white one for £39.99 and blue one for £24.99 ) and some PANDORA charms. I found many things I like, but in the end I either couldn’t decide or missed it. As some of my friend said, who used to study in Oxford, the place is better for guys. She couldn’t be more right as my boyfriend got lots of staff (and he was the one who didn’t want to go there!) from Allsaints, Timberland, Superdry, Ted Baker etc.
I liked the place and it’s good to visit from time to time, but to be honest I found better goods on sales online and currently I’m just waiting for them to arrive!