There is a major pro to having a crap shopping centre that no one goes to – it means it’s easy to social distance!
If you are looking for a shopping centre where I can guarantee it will be quiet in the morning, come to Slough. Last week I tested it out with the school uniform shopping, and it was dead as I went there first thing in the morning. So I felt confident I could bring the children to shop here safely. They have really missed shopping and looking at toys. Today we got there just after 9am, and I can say it was a pleasant experience.
Now, Slough High Street and our Queensmere Observatory shopping centre is not a destination one. You would only shop here if you live in Slough. I know we are famous for shops closing down and pound shops. But we do have the big brands that you need – Primark, TK Maxx, B&M, The Works, The Body Shop, Deichmann, Wilko, Boots, WHSmith, Card Factory, Sports Direct, JD Sports. And I have to say, I could see cleaning equipment in every store, and Primark had hand sanitiser at the entrance. There are floor stickers reminding people of social distancing on the street in front of the shops and inside the shopping centre.
Our first stop was Deichmann and we pretty much had the store to ourselves. I measured the kids feet with their measuring thingy and Tyler chose some sandals. The till had a perspex screen, and it was quick to pay as there was no queue.
Next we went over to the Clarks Outlet to see what school shoes they had. The High Street was getting a bit busier because people were queueing outside to get into the various banks. The Clarks Outlet had just one other family in there. So we were able to easily browse. School shoes are roughly £25 – £30 in here rather than £40 full price. Lily liked a pair of t-bar light up shoes but they didn’t have her size.
Next we headed into the shopping centre to go to Primark. There was no queue, so we walked right in and put some hand sanitiser on that they had at the entrance. The front of the store has and entry/exit system.
In store we were looking for sandals for Lily. It was so nice to be inside Primark, I have missed it! I put two bottles of hand sanitiser in my basket, and the kids picked up these random fruit body sponges. Lily chose some sparkly diamonte sliders as her sandals. She sat on the floor to try them on as there are no seats instore – they have been blocked off. There was no queue at the checkout. It is all spaced out now, with screens at each till and a one-way system.
We walked through the shopping centre but couldn’t cut through TK Maxx like we used to. The Observatory side is now Exit only and there is a staff member there manning it.
So we walked all the way round and went into B&M because the kids miss looking at toys. They were soooo happy, Tyler going wow at all the new Hot Wheels cars and Lily at the new Toy Story 4 and Paw Patrol toys. I told them to look but not touch. I bought a few random things – we have run out of drawing paper, I needed Sharpies to label their school uniform and Lily wanted the Trolls Aqua Pad thing. I also got Lily new pjs as all her pyjama bottoms have holes at the knees!
Our last stop was The Works, which we like for their activity books. Lily was looking at Peppa first, then she said to me “I think we’ve done enough Peppa” and went to look at the Disney shelf. Wow! She chose a Ralph Breaks The Internet activity book.
Browsing the shops was something we have really missed, although I won’t be doing it often. It’s hard not to buy impulse things and I don’t want to get back in the habit of spending needlessly. Everything we bought today was useful though.
The kids were tired walking back to our flat, it was about 2 and half hours we were out without sitting down. In the old days we would have sat in Starbucks to rest our feet, but I’m glad to cut that out – it saves me money not going! We managed to get some cool shots on the way too – the mural by the library and the stripy round thing by the bus station.
These are the things I bought today on the kids’ first shopping trip since lockdown.
Peppa Pjs – £5.99 – B&M
Fruit Bath Sponges – £1 each – Primark
Hand Sanitiser Bottles – £1 each – Primark
A4 Drawing Pad, 60 sheets – £1 – B&M
Black Sharpies 2-pk – £1.99 – B&M
Trolls Aqua Magic Pad – £2.99 – B&M
Boys Sandals – £7.99 – Deichmann
Ralph Breaks The Internet Activity Book – £3 – The Works
Disney Pixar Pencils with Scented Toppers – £3.50 – Primark
Girls Slider Sandals – £5 – Primark
I hope you found this post useful. If you want to shop in a quiet Primark, TK Maxx, B&M, Deichmann, Clarks Outlet, The Works, Wilko, Body Shop, Card Factory, Boots, WHSmith, Superdrug, Sports Direct… come to Slough High Street – it’s dead quiet between 9am – 11am.
Have you had a good shopping experience anywhere since lockdown? Let us know in the comments.