A value proposition
The Bicester Village Shopping Collection, previously called Chic Outlet Shopping, is created and operated by Value Retail, and offers experience-led value shopping in luxury outlet destinations across Europe and in China.
In 2016, guests from the Middle East accounted for 14 per cent of tax-refunded sales across the Collection of Villages in Europe. This includes guests from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
We spoke to Desirée Bollier, chair, Value Retail management, to get more insight into the recent expansion of Bicester Village located in Oxford. Launched more than 20 years ago, Bicester Village is now recognised as one of the world’s most-popular shopping destinations and is one of the most-visited tourist destinations in the UK. “As the founding Village within the Collection, Bicester Village is constantly evolving to better cater for its guests. The extension was a natural next step as part of this evolution and saw the Village grow its global footprint, while supporting and strengthening its impressive stable of world-class brands. This unique shopping destination has now grown by a quarter, with the addition of more than 30 new boutiques. This brings the total to more than 160, each offering exceptional value, with savings of up to 60 per cent on the recommended retail price all year round.”
“As part of a bigger, better Bicester Village, we are delighted to have recently launched The Apartment, a new by-appointment-only VIP house. This beautifully crafted, unique space was designed by celebrated interior design firm Carden Cunietti. It is an exclusive space in which guests can enjoy events including special trunk shows, personal shopping consultations and VIP experiences.”
Value Retail has curated unique experiences and offered attractive benefits to guests from the Middle East region throughout 2017. Throughout the summer and during Eid, the Villages in Europe elevated their luxury services to welcome Middle Eastern guests, with services including exclusive access to VIP Lounges; superior food offerings, including enhanced halal menus; and Arabic-speaking personal stylists to offer expert fashion advice and bespoke styling.
Last year, The Bicester Village Shopping Collection placed greater emphasis on collaborating with influential fashion and lifestyle bloggers from the UAE, to bring to life the curated experiences and exciting brands available for Middle Eastern guests.
A new partnership was unveiled with Dubai Islamic Bank, providing customers of the bank with exclusive offers, including a VIP Card offering extra savings on the latest trends in fashion and accessories, arrival in style with reduced prices on Shopping Express tickets (return tickets on a coach service from the nearest city to the Village), and exclusive Shopping Packages including Chauffeur Services and access to the Villages’ VIP Lounges.
Etihad Guest members are entitled to two Etihad Guest Miles for every pound or euro spent on qualifying purchases across all Villages in Europe. Privilege Club (Qatar Airways) members are entitled to 1.25 Qmiles for every pound or euro spent on qualifying purchases across all Villages.
Throughout the year, the Villages are buzzing with child-friendly activities and food offerings for the whole family to enjoy. In addition, the Villages include dedicated play areas designed for younger guests, so parents can entertain their children in-between browsing the boutiques. The Villages also offer baby-changing facilities and complimentary pushchair hire, and all destinations have been designed with ground-level entry to boutiques, for ease of access. There is, of course, an abundance of childrenswear brands on offer. All of the Villages also offer free wi-fi, which is great for keeping the older children entertained.