Fears over safety at Bicester Village lead to closure petition
Over 4,700 people have signed a petition calling for Bicester Village to close temporarily or introduce more stringent social distancing measures following its reopening on Monday.
It came after photos of large crowds circulated on social media, showing swarms of shoppers queueing outside the stores.
The shopping complex, home to designer and premium brands including Moncler, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Michael Kors, reopened its doors on Monday morning with temperature checks and new hand-washing facilities.
A new app has been rolled out to allow visitors to book a space in a digital queue at some of the boutiques, and stores are limiting the number of customers allowed inside at one time.
But while the system appeared to work in the shops, visitors struggled to maintain social distancing outside.
The luxury retail outlet is owned by Value Retail, which operates a collection of designer villages across Europe and Asia.
Bicester Village was not the only shopping destination experiencing large queues on Monday as thousands of eager shoppers descended on city centres up and down the country for some retail therapy.
A spokesperson for Bicester Village answered its critics, telling the Oxford Mail: “Following a surge at opening, the flow of guests has eased as the day has progressed.
"Bicester Village has in place Shopping Protocols, which meet the Government’s official guidance and regulations.”
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