Newest Review: ... high street stores such as Internacionale, New Look, Next etc. But the real beauty of the place was down to the various mini stalls inside ... more
DVD Player £100
Shopping in Ashford
Member Name: garyse16
Shopping in Ashford
Date: 05/05/01, updated on 05/05/01 (919 review reads)
Advantages: Cheap, Bargains, Centre Design
If you like designer goods (who doesn’t?) but you’re not too keen on designer prices (who isn’t?), you’ve got to head to McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Centre in Ashford, Kent.
McArthurGlen have several Designer Outlet Centres across Europe, but their centre in Ashford is one of their newest and, being less than an hour from London one of their busiest.
Outlet Centres originated in the USA and are out of town centres where chain stores and designer brands off-load past seasons goods at bargain prices. It really is like a permanent sale time.
Ashford Designer Outlet Centre has a striking design. The stores are arranged in an oval pattern and a canvas type material suspended on poles covers the walkway. A bit of a cross between a circus big top and the Millennium Dome is the best way to describe it. If you try imagining looking down on this oval shape, at one end is the entry road for cars and at the opposite end a food court and children’s play area, and on either sides are the shops themselves. The centre of the oval is the car park with space for 1,300 cars, and this is part of the beauty of the place – no matter where you park you’re very close to the shops and you start with the nearest shop and simply follow round – no getting lost or losing your friends!
So what about the shops? Well there’s a wide range. Clothes come courtesy of Gap, Tommy Hillfiger, Daks, Polo, Levis, Firetrap, Ben Sherman and many others. There’s even the first M&S outlet shop within the centre, though it has to be said it’s not one of the better shops on offer. Other shops include Le Creuset – great cookware, Waterford Wedgewood, Edinburgh Crystal, Bath & Works and Body Shop.
When you make a purchase save your receipts. If your daily total is over £100 take them along to the Information Desk in the Food Court and ask for a Plus Card. This gets stamped every time your
spend is over £100 and when that happens four times you get a £20 voucher.
For a break from the shopping the Food Court has McDonald’s, Spud-u-like, Harry Ramsden’s and a couple of coffee shops. Basic stuff.
Getting to the Designer Outlet Centre is easy. By car, take exit 10 off the M20 and follow the signs. The nearest train station is Ashford International from where there’s a free shuttle bus.
Monday – Wednesday 10-6
My best buy? The £100 DVD player from Littlewoods Catalogue Outlet. It works perfectly well and came complete – a real bargain. As with all the stores though their stock changes quickly so you never know what you’ll find, but as McArthurGlen say – that’s half the fun!