Cheshire Oaks has launched a new parking service where customers can pay £5 for a parking space and get a 10% discount off their shopping.
The new premium parking weekend service allows visitors to book a parking space online in The Quarter, opposite the BOSS and Ralph Lauren stores, and in return they will receive a 10% discount card to use within the centre.
Outlet operators McArthurGlen say they have now introduced the scheme regularly following a 'successful summer trial', but the move has sparked criticism on social media from shoppers who branded it a 'money making scheme' and 'a big mistake'.
Ashley Proctor wrote on Cheshire Oaks' Facebook page: "Attempted to visit Cheshire Oaks today, only to have huge difficulty finding somewhere to park. It seems the centre have decided to cordon off a huge part of a free car park to now charge people.
"Drivers were literally fighting over bays, we just gave up and went home."
Others called the move 'greedy' and 'ridiculous', while Chris Merrick said: "Another money making scheme that will cause trouble for local residents of Whitby and Stanney as people will park in side streets."
But a McArthurGlen spokesperson said only a small number of the centre's 2,800-plus parking spaces are allocated for the service, and all remaining free parking remains unaffected.
"After a successful summer trial, premium parking is a new weekend service that’s available for all guests who visit Cheshire Oaks," the spokesperson said.
"As part of the centre’s evolving customer offering, visitors will be able reserve a space online in advance for £5 and receive additional promotional offers.
"The guests who purchase premium parking receive a 10% discount card to use within centre, there are also brand specific offers which change on a regular basis."
More information on the new parking service can be found here