The black Friday sales are a thing of the past, with shoppers revelling in their new found bargains, with countless amounts of point of sale being distributed up and down the country to mark the sale period, a place where consumers can secure a deal all year round is the discounted outlets.
As we discussed previously a higher percentage of affluent consumers are looking towards discounted supermarkets to purchase their groceries as a principle of purchasing a product that is seen as better value and on the same level as higher priced supermarkets, rather than being cheap.
Traditionally shopping outlets have been used to shift excess stock at the end of a season, or to sell products with slight cosmetic defects. Now they are being used by consumers as a leisure destination with many offering human to human experiences, high end restaurants and pop-up fashion boutiques. All of these contribute to the overall consumer’s shopping experience and inspires them to return for more as they are receiving discounted goods as well as an unforgettable experience. However we ask how are discount shopping outlets becoming the new luxury destination?
Once upon a time, outlet malls were filled with bargain hunters happy to avoid expensive department stores for hefty discounts on budget items. The UK’s first was opened in 1993, after that a lot of other retail moguls followed suit with McArthurGlen being set up replicating the US style outlet malls in Europe with shopping centres like Cheshire Oaks near Manchester, and the York Designer Outlet outside of York. There are currently just over 30 shopping outlets in the UK, catering to every type of consumer.
High-end discount outlets such as Bicester Village Outlet centres and the McGarthur Glen shopping outlets are becoming the new luxury destination that visitors from as far as China come to visit.
Bicester Village has become a marketing success of its own, opening its very own train station in 2015, 30 minutes outside of Oxford and just over 40 minutes from London, Bicester is now easier to access than ever! Visitors are welcomed by attendees dressed in eye catching red cloaks with bell boy hats. Instantly this gives off the impression of a great experience from the offset – customers are able to interact and gain insightful knowledge about the outlet’s services, which includes a bespoke shopping experience and styling as well as fine dining experiences.
Value Retail, the owner of Bicester village is replicating the customer experience of bond street but a fraction of the price, marketing itself as providing value rather than cheaper products.
Gucci’s chief executive has explained their reasons for opening a boutique in Bicester Village. Bizarri told investors in June that the overlap between consumers, between the off price and the full price, is very limited so with the off price with the old collection, Gucci can reach a customer that may never come into a full-price shop. With the first contact at the discount outlet, Gucci has the window to create a relationship with the customer and create a customer journey in the full price store.
Bicester village has become the destination of many tourists, many favouring visiting the discount shopping centre than the likes of the National Gallery, Tate Modern and Tower of London. In 2016 6.4 million visitors ascended the purposely built streets of Bicester.
Bicester Village is one of the many examples of shopping outlets that provides a more bespoke experience other than a shopping one. Using point of sale and retail window displays that replicate the look and high end feel of the full price boutiques will allow customers to connect the experience with the brand and slowly transition over to purchasing full priced products in-store.
Now that the Black Friday sales are done and dusted, how are you planning to prepare for next year? Using point of sale materials like product display stands and product dump bins will put your product in front of the end customer and create an impulse to pick up a bargain.