Shopping has always been long considered a leisurely business, everyone was served by a shop assistant as an individual in a relaxed atmosphere. We, of course, have all heard the story of the American entrepreneur Mr. Harry Gordon Selfridge, who came to London with a visionary concept in mind; to create a luxury department store with an entertaining shopping experience to match. A century later and Selfridges is still thriving, but it’s not difficult to see that the British high street experience is in decline.
With customers today being able to buy everything online, retailers are of course met with issues regarding the shopping experience. Of course, if you are not put off by the crowds trampling up and down Oxford Street on a Saturday afternoon then perhaps it is the number of sales assistants who scowl at you for asking them a question – how dare you disrupt them whilst their working, you should know better!
On the other end of the spectrum, there exist employees who constantly follow you around and bother you with unnecessary questions and chit-chat. It certainly appears that the art of the shopping experience has been lost within the world of fast fashion and consumerism. Nevertheless, there does exist a destination where professional service is tailored to your individual needs, a stylish fashion mecca located in the Oxfordshire countryside where the notion of a luxurious shopping experience has not been lost…Bicester Village!
Rising above the popularity of internet shopping and distancing themselves from our regular high street nightmares, Bicester Village proudly offers a range of delectable discoveries including luxury brands, various dining options and a real human connection. Oh and the most perfect of toilets, (as if you are in a 5 star hotel) because lets face it a long muse around the stores is always made better by a decent ‘ladies’ or gentleman) experience.
It can be incredibly hard to distinguish yourself from competitors, but the masterminds behind the Village have created a fashionable destination which not only pushes the boundaries of creativity and innovation to an unprecedented level but have also made shopping a leisurely and luxury pursuit again. A destination where perusal is part of the day out.
Since its original launch in 1995, Bicester Village has now unveiled its incredibly well-curated expansion, apparently making the village as long as the Champs-Élysées in Paris! Now that’s a lot of shopping, but rest assured there is plenty of seating and dining options to suit every taste – from pop-up’s to cafes and restaurants – impeccably designed toilets and blankets for you to snuggle in when the coldness of the British winter sets in.
The latest addition of 31 new boutiques ranges from Christopher Kane and Roksanda to the Charlotte Tilbury pop-up. Safe to say, if Bicester Village was once a secret amongst the Oxfordshire locals, it is now an international style destination.
With such an unrivaled mix of boutiques from international fashion, luxury, and lifestyle brands which surpass that of your local high street, there is something for anyone and everyone; a Rapha store for cycling enthusiasts, a Le Creuset shop for aspiring chefs, and even TAG Heuer for those watch connoisseurs.
Not only will the charming open-air ‘village’ setting transport you to a bygone era which has been lost since the development of mega shopping centers, but it also boats a botanical transformation by London based florist Nikki Tibbles! And for those wanting a truly luxurious day out, the Village also offers personal stylists to help you achieve the perfect look, a VIP Lounge, free Wi-Fi, Gift Cards, and international home delivery.
With the lead up the Christmas fast approaching, Bicester Village also recently launched ‘The British Collective’, their own multi-brand pop-up gifting boutique designed by British illustrator Luke Edward Hall which features Chinti & Parker, Tom Dixon and a must-have Christmas sweater in collaboration with Royal Warrant holder John Smedley.
Not only does the Village have its own multi-storey car park, but there are regular transport links from London. Choose to board a sleek coach service which runs directly from a range of London’s city cente locations, or perhaps train from London Marylebone which takes under a hour.
So if you want a little bit more glamour, a decent choice and a healthier bank balance make your way to Bicester Village and we will see you there!