A York shopping centre turns 25 years old this autumn – and is determined to make it a happy birthday for customers too.
York Designer Outlet is holding a birthday bonanza weekend this Saturday and Sunday (30 September and 1 October).
Visitors will be offered extra discounts, gifts with purchases, complimentary drinks, and have the chance to take part in special activities.
And from 12pm both days there will be a scratch card giveaway, offering guests a chance to win – the top prize is a £250 centre gift card on both Saturday and Sunday.
Manager at York Designer Outlet Paul Tyler said: “This is a hugely exciting moment for the centre as we celebrate 25 years as a leading retail destination bringing the local York area premium brands at affordable prices.
“Over the years we have strived to keep our centre current, with the continued evolution of our brand mix through ongoing new store openings, such as French Connection, Slim Chickens, Clarins and Yo! Sushi which have all opened within the last six months.”
Here are all the store discounts for the birthday weekend
He added: “It is also a perfect time to look towards the future.
“Our desire is to continue to invest in York Designer Outlet and I’m delighted to confirm that we are currently working through a new planning application to improve the parking, enhance the park and ride and expand our retail and hospitality offer even further.
“More to follow on this in the coming weeks.”
A previous planning application for 25 new shops and restaurants was submitted in 2019.
The centre has supported countless charities and community groups over the years. In 2022, the York community donated over 10,000 toys as part of the YorkMix Toy Appeal.
York Designer Outlet opened its doors to the public on 12 November 1998, but its history goes further back.
The centre’s predecessor was Naburn Maternity Hospital, where an estimated 70,000 babies were born – including some of the staff who now work at the outlet.
In the early 1900s, the site housed the York City Asylum. The mental institution was built in 1906 to house an overflow of patients in the York area and from institutions across the country.
Researchers from the Borthwick Institute of Archives, based at the University of York, revealed that the location served as a Prisoner of War camp during the Second World War.
In the 25 years since the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet opened, it has welcomed 80 million people and recorded retail sales of more than £2.5 billion.
M&S has sold more than 6.6 million items to more than 17.7 million customers since 2008. Starbucks has brewed over six million cups of coffee during this time.
In November 2011, skating legends Torvill and Dean opened Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland, taking to the ice to light up the 30ft Christmas tree and meeting fans.
In 2012, the centre hosted an event for Yorkshire athletes who returned after success in the London Olympics while 2014 saw the centre transform into a spectator hub for the Tour de France, sporting a giant yellow jersey on its roof.