Outlet Malls for Discounted Goods
Outlet malls are still something of a rarity in England, and having visited Woodbury Common a few years ago, it was interesting to compare the English version.
The highlights for most English shoppers will be the Marks and Spencer (M&S) outlet and the Cadbury World shop. But there are many other stores within the complex, including several shoe shops, a bag store, a bookshop and numerous clothes emporia.
Parking in the long-stay car park is recommended if serious shopping is on the agenda. In Woodbury Common it was not unusual to see visitors with suitcases which they slowly filled with their purchases. This outlet mall is nowhere as big as Woodbury, but it is just as varied. Highlights are many and varied depending on the age and interests of the shopper, but some of the main reasons to visit are given below.
Marks and Spencer Outlet Shop
This store features both discontinued lines from the main M&S ranges and items specially provided for the outlet. All are available at discount and with special offers on many lines of ‘buy one, get the second half price’ or similar. A fleece jacket, three men’s polo shirts and several items of lingerie came to £42, whereas in a regular M&S store they would have been at least £60.
Cadbury World Outlet Shop
For chocolate lovers there is the Cadbury World shop. The range is similar to that available in the visitors’ centre at the Cadbury World attraction in Birmingham, but without the long drive to reach the Midlands from Devon.
A shoe shop offering comfort designer shoes at lower prices, Pavers has prices ranging upwards from £20. These are not as discounted as in Deichmann or Shoe Zone but the shoes are good quality ranges and certainly cheaper than if they were purchased from the designer stores, such as Hush Puppies, Pierre Cardin or Timberland.
A whole store devoted to bags, purses and luggage. There are some designer names but most handbags appear to cost between £15 and £40 with briefcases towards the upper end of that price range. Matching purses are also on offer in some collections.
The Works (Banana Books)
A book and stationery store selling a variety of items including laptop trays and notecards as well as a full range of books. The laptop trays have a built in battery-powered LED light and a non-slip surface and can double as desks.
An entire shop given over to the sale of packets of nuts, chocolate, sweets and nibbles. From peanuts to Liquorice Allsorts to yogurt covered fruit, this is a snacker’s paradise. Unusual items such as yogurt covered apricot and pineapple pieces are on sale alongside Bombay mix, cheesy nibbles, flapjacks and Jelly Babies.
Whittard of Chelsea
A tea and coffee specialist, Whittards also sells the crockery to enjoy the drink in and a selection of biscuits and fine chocolates to have with a cuppa.
The famous crockery manufacturer has a place in Atlantic Village too, where some of the range is on offer.
A good few hours can be spent in this shopping centre, especially if detailed examination of some of the stores is necessary in the search for ‘just the right thing’. Well worth a visit on a cloudy or wet day, or on a Thursday evening when the mall is open until 8:00 p.m.