Sales at designer outlets are soaring as shoppers take advantage of designer goods at discounted prices during the recession.

Sales at Bicester Village near Oxford grew 40 per cent year on year with like-for-like sales, excluding new stores, up 25 per cent, according to The Times. Bicester sells designer labels such as Matthew Williamson and Jimmy Choo.

At outlet chain McArthurGlen, which sells more high street brands, sales rose 5.6 per cent in the second quarter of the year.

Managing director at McArthurGlen Henrick Madsen said that more brands were looking at designer outlets as a way of offloading excess stock. “Brands that five years ago, or even last year, would never have dreamt of selling in outlet centres are now knocking on our door looking for opportunities,” he said.

The new trend for “staycations” in the UK has also helped sales for the discount villages whilst the weakness of the sterling has also increased the number of tourists to the outlets. At Bicester Village the number of Middle Eastern visitors grew 73 per cent in the last year with Chinese tourists up 25 per cent and Russian visitors up 87 per cent.