26 December 2010

How to Survive Bicester Village on Boxing Day

I go to Bicester Village rarely enough for it to sound tempting when someone suggests we go; after all, they have a lot of my favourite shops, including Mulberry, French Connection and Ted Baker, and you can, occasionally, get a great bargain. On the other hand, finding said bargains takes a lot of hunting and the place is usually rammed at weekends even outside the festive season.

Today, it was hellish. We only live one motorway junction away and got to the Bicester junction very quickly but it then took us an hour to travel the last two miles and another thirty minutes to find a parking space. Once we were there, the shops were so busy that I didn't really have the energy to shop or to try things on and I left empty handed (£600 instead of £750 for an oak Mulberry Alexa is not a bad bargain but far more than I would consider spending on that particular bag).

In short, Bicester Village should be avoided between Christmas and New Year--especially on Boxing Day. But if you must go, here are some tips for reducing the pain:
  1. Don't go on Boxing Day at all. According to Bicester Village staff, the place is inexplicably quiet on Christmas Eve and the pre- and post-Christmas stock is the same anyway. Today was, unfortunately, the only day we could go.
  2. Don't bring anyone with you unless they genuinely want to shop too. They will be miserable and they will make other shoppers' lives more difficult (including yours) by clogging up the narrow shop aisles as they hang around waiting for their companions. 
  3. Don't bring anyone or anything that needs carrying/towing or that needs your constant attention (babies, dogs, small children and, especially, pushchairs).
  4. Don't go in search of specific items; the crowds will make it near impossible to find them and (where appropriate) to try them on.
  5. Don't go to Gucci, Ugg or Ralph Lauren unless you're fairly sure you'll be able to buy something; you'll have to wait in a freezing queue for an awful long time.
  6. Don't dawdle. This is not the time for window shopping, standing around chatting in shops or otherwise idling.
  7. Don't bring your car. Getting in and parking are nightmarish; get the bus or train instead, if possible.
  8. If you do drive, do not eat your lunch in your car after you've finished your shopping. This is incredibly frustrating for those who have been waiting for a parking space for far longer than planned.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous01:42

    thank you very much. good advice