Advantages Savings galore, Quality items
Disadvantages American Mall atmosphere/ Avoid peak times/ Food is awful
I’m not really a shopping fan, These days I find the whole experience a bit traumatic if I was being honest. Rude people everywhere you look, pushed from pillar to post, robbed right, left and centre from the car park fees to the overpriced so-called ‘bargains’ themselves. This is why (and I guess others if you believe newspaper reports) I do a lot of my shopping on the internet. However I must admit that I make exceptions wherever real bargains can be had, one such exception is Clark’s Village in Somerset. This place has a whole abundance of genuine bargains and even though on the occasions I have visited, I have spent quite a lot of money, I have been mightily pleased with the savings I have made too. Here’s a little more about Clark’s Village and how it came to start in the first place ;Clark’s Village is located in Street, a little town in Somerset. Close by Street is Glastonbury famous for its Tor and connections with King Arthur. It is easily reached by road and rail, the main connecting A road is the A39 and the closest motorway junction is J23 off the M5. The West Country isn’t that well blessed with road links compared to more developed areas and as a result, peak times can be an absolute nightmare. My personal recommendation is to visit early as the shops are opening, you are far more likely to get a car parking space avoid the hourdes and nick the best deals. It is signposted by way of the ‘brown attraction signs’ and is very hard to miss seeing that the village is quite small yet Clark’s Village is a large retail development. Other places close by which are worth a visit are Wells and it’s beautiful cathedral, Cheddar Gorge with it’s famous caves, Longleat and it’s safari park and stately home and last but not least Bath with it’s quaint regency architecture. If your not from the West Country, it is a particularly beautiful part of the country and you could incorporate your visit to Clark’s Village with another attraction.
Clark’s Village started out as a factory shop for Clark’s (the U.K’s biggest shoe company). The manufacturing buildings in Street became redundant and the bosses thought the idea would make the buildings into a profitable side business alongside it’s High Street shops. This idea was copied on the American outlet centre’s which were prevalent and hugely popular at the time. The factory shop was launched in 1993 and was quickly expanded as other companies too became wise to the idea and came on board. This was the first outlet centre in the U.K, forty now exist with a further forty on the architect’s books. The idea was to sell off previous seasons stock, end of line products, cancelled orders, quality seconds and discontinued lines at knock down prices in a retail environment to the general public. Previously items like this were sold in store, took up much need space and accounted for big debit figures on the balance sheets. The outlet stores had low overheads and paid no attention to detail with the ethos ‘stack em high, sell em quick’ being used.
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