Saturday, 26 Sep 2020

Petition launched against reopening of Bicester Village as hundreds shop

More than 2,400 people have signed a petition calling for Bicester Village to close after hundreds of eager shoppers crowded into the centre today.

The designer retail outlet joined thousands of shops in re-opening their doors to the public today after the government finally gave them the green light. Customers were urged to adhere to social distancing measures, which still require people to remain at least two metres away from anyone not in their household.

However, photos from Bicester Village, in Oxfordshire, showed groups of people standing close together as they waited to get inside shops. They were then shared on social media with many expressing their anger that they are still unable to hug loved ones while others ‘queue for hours to get a Gucci bag’.

The petition, entitled ‘Shut Bicester Village or Put Proper Measures In Place’ was launched earlier today and has been signed by 2,436 people. Creator Laura Wicks wrote: ‘I was disgusted to see the hundreds of people squashed into the street like coronavirus never happened.

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‘As a nation we are all still under the two-metre guidelines and as a company, Bicester Village have a responsibility to keep its staff safe. It is horrendous that the people who work there are being forced into an unsafe environment when so many of them have family at home.’

Other critics of Bicester Village also accused them of ‘not giving a s**t about anything other than money’ and falsely promising to keep members of staff amid the continuing pandemic.

In response, a spokesperson for the outlet centre said they had seen a ‘surge’ of customers during their opening, but claimed the ‘flow of guests eased as the day progressed’.

They continued: ‘Bicester Village has in place Shopping Protocols, which meet the Government’s official guidance and regulations.’

Huge crowds also formed outside Nike Town, on Oxford Street, London, today as hundreds of people ‘pushed and shoved’ their way inside the store as it reopened. Staff offered customers hand sanitiser, while a security guard only let 100 people into the shop at a time.

While Primark hit headlines this morning after people across the UK queued up overnight to ensure they could be first inside their local stores. One student described how she had got up at 4.30am, started queuing from 6.45am and was finished with her shopping just after 8am.

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