Oh my god! It’s that time of year again, Student Lock Ins are back and better than ever with more exclusive discounts and freebies than ever before.Advertisement
There was no mistaking the first student lock in event of the year, as a swarming buzz of excitement and chatter came from the bright neon lights of Topshop, livening up the quiet streets of Preston, after hours.
“That really compliments your figure!”
“Do they have that top in my size?”
“Oh my god! Where did you find that dress?”
Whether it was best friends on a shopping trip or strangers in the fitting room, these were just some of the comments flying around the store of Topshop on 28th and 29th September 2010, uniting students in the name of fashion.
With my arm piled high with clothes and shoes, I got chatting to two young fashionable girls, who are both first year students at the University of Central Lancashire and have been regulars at the Topshop Student Lock In event since it began last year. I was intrigued to find out whether the students felt these events were important for them, as students, who make up 30% of the population in Preston. “We believe because students can vary in age, it’s great for people to get together, who share a similar interest and taste in fashion.” They also commented on the appeal of an internationally recognised high street store holding such a prestigious event: “Kate Moss is my idol” confesses one of the girls, “so having clothes designed by her available to buy in store, will always allow me to be bang on trend with the latest fashion.”
It’s explicit that the Topshop student lock in has been prepared and pre-prepared in time for the event, as the mechanics of the working order allowed the students to shop with ease; with a constant flow of rails brought to and from the fitting rooms, workers on hand to direct customers around the shop and at the tills; with one scanning while the other packed, the students were out of the shop within a flash, grabbing a free goodie bag on the way out, if they managed to spend over £50.
From the relaxed smile and calm attitude of the manager on both consecutive nights, I got the impression the Student Lock In events managed to reach the success Topshop had hoped for, generating more business for the company and creating a wider social circulation within the student population of Preston. Yet, more significantly, the students looked content with the event too, brimming with bags of shopping and excitement as they left the store, their conversation circulated around their enthusiasm for the next Student Lock In event.
However, the next Student Lock In was just around the corner, literally, only minutes from Topshop and a week away, the students of Preston had just about enough time to assess their student loan and make a new shopping list, before heading down to St George’s shopping centre on Tuesday 6 October.
St George’s shopping centre has held the Student Lock In event for the past two years, enticing over 8,000 students just last year alone, therefore the pressure was on to see whether they could live up to their reputation and pull out all the stops to guarantee the students of Preston a super special shopping treat.
From the doors opening at 6.30pm, students were treated to 2 for 1 tickets for Mc Donalds on arrival, accompanied by free balloons and glitter hair spray and some shops even gave out free cushions, just in case, they needed a student nap between takes of some serious retail therapy.
From super talented, local girl band, P5 to singer/songwriter Mike Dignam, the event was filled with thrilling entertainment with both acts providing exclusive performance for enthusiastic onlookers. However, the eagerly anticipated return of last year’s performers JUICE, who joined forces with three successful live DJ’s from the hottest student bars around Preston from Rumes, Glovers and UClan’s very own 53 Degrees, was thoroughly enjoyed by the students.
An extensive range of stores were involved with the event, including top high street stores such as H&M, Republic and Miss Selfridge, which were offering students up to 20% discount to the craze of Pandora; which is one of the hottest designer retailers of modern jewellery for the past two consecutive years running, which offered students 10% off every item in store.
“It’s been so busy, since the moment we opened; it’s been like a Saturday” commented one busy worker of the St George’s Student Lock In, a clear sign of how these prestigious annual events boom business for all the stores involved and the economy of Preston.
After three hectic days spread over a week, with money cashed up and limitless bags of shopping, it seems everybody is a winner at Student Lock Ins.
Looking good for less never felt so good.