When it comes down to it, getting our holiday wardrobe together is a tornado of last minute impulse purchases, marathon (*ahem*, killer) shopping trips pulling our tired, trainer-clad feet round a packed city centre, mixed in with last year’s discoloured kimonos that we drag out from the bottom of our ‘summer’ drawer that only sees the light of day annually in August. There is, as we all know, panic in the air.
Dashed are our expectations, our hopes and our excitement as we enter yet another city, another town with the same monotony of shops and makeup stained blouses. Yes, we head to the same range of high-street stores as the next fraught holiday shopper. Yes, we dash out on our forty-five minute lunch breaks in the hopes of discovering the perfect day-to-evening holiday dress. And what do we come back with? A terrible shopping experience and some M&S cookies to cheer ourselves up.
But what if holiday shopping wasn’t just about the catch-me-if-you-can rat race of high-street sale shopping? What if you didn’t have to fumble around the hordes of angry Saturday shoppers elbowing their way to the 50% off tables?
McArthurGlen, the industry experts of designer outlet shopping, can do this for you (HURRAH!). They’ve revolutionised the shopping experience into more than just running from shop-to-shop, eyes firmly on the ground and walking shoes on. They’ve created something pleasurable, something that allows you to both tick off your shopping to-do list whilst actually enjoying it too.
Half an hour from Liverpool and forty-five minutes from Manchester, McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Cheshire Oaks has realised that shopping for consumers isn’t just about getting what you want and making a run for it. It’s about taking the time to relax, having a bite to eat and strolling leisurely, at your own pace, around the stores. Let’s face it, shopping takes up a full day, so why not enjoy that day too?
With free parking next to the centre and open spaces to take a breather, shopping at McArthurGlen Cheshire Oaks doesn’t feel like the traditional experience. Make an evening of it with their extended summer opening times (9am-9pm, Monday-Friday) and enjoy the BBQ and bar (my two favourite words!) in the outdoor chill out zone. During our visit, we lunched at Carluccio’s, sitting under their outdoor umbrellas whilst sipping on refreshing tonic water – makes a change from an on-the-go sandwich and takeaway coffee, right?
From high-street to luxury brands, the centre is constantly developing and has recently welcomed new stores like Converse and Karl Lagerfeld. Discounted at a minimum of 30% less than RRP (and up to 60% off during sale times!), the centre offers something for everyone: from a classic white shirt at Gap to on-trend Miu Miu sunglasses at Sunglass Hut.
Don’t be fooled by the idea of outlet shopping as being older stock, the centre is awash with this year’s collections; a particular favourite being the Jigsaw slip-ons that I’ve been eyeing up all summer and managed to snap up for a fraction of the RRP price! Paired with a Jaeger oversized dress with cinched in waist, I thought it was the perfect nod to the laid-back safari trend of the season. Holiday shopping made easy, start your morning with coffee and a croissant at Café Rouge before taking a trip to Kurt Geiger for the perfect holiday sandals, and The Kooples for a rock ’n roll statement dress for those balmy summer evenings. Finish off with a late lunch and cocktail at one of McArthurGlen Cheshire Oaks’ many restaurants before whizzing right onto the motorway to head home. I think it’s time to ditch that lunch break shopping now…
This post is in sponsored collaboration with McArthurGlen Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet.