THE biggest shopping centre in Oxford is offering the 'ultimate' prize as part of a campaign to entice customers back.

The Westgate Centre's Welcome Back to Oxford programme runs in the centre, online and through social media until September 17, with two competitions giving visitors the chance to win big.

A book-shaped 'selfie spot' in Leiden Square, called The Oxford Book, gives shoppers the chance to win weekly prizes, as well as providing information about attractions across the city.

Customers can also collect a 'bookmark' with a unique code from the centre's guest experience desk, which they then enter online to discover if they have won the 'Ultimate Westgate Experience' of a meal, experiences and prizes.

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The centre is using the hashtag #Staycation during the campaign, with the aim of promoting activities closer to home in the absence of a traditional summer holiday.

Centre director Brendan Hattam said: “We know many people aren’t travelling abroad this summer, so we wanted to bring a staycation experience of Oxford to our loyal local customers.

“Oxford has a fantastic history, which we are proud to promote and celebrate through the Welcome Back to Oxford #Staycation campaign.

“We are so pleased to see people engaging with the campaign.

“We’ve loved seeing families and local residents so eager to learn more about the city’s history."

The centre boasts more than 100 high street giants and added luxury watchmaker TAG Heuer on June 24.

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This came just over a week after Westgate reopened on June 15, with several safety measures in place.

A number of hand sanitiser points have been installed, while a one-way system is in place in part of the centre and capacity monitoring is ensuring social distancing.

A heightened cleaning regime is in operation and store opening hours have changed, with some not open at all.

Staff are asking shoppers to wear a mask before entering the centre from Queen Street, with face coverings mandatory in the mall areas.

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An employee at one store, who asked to remain anonymous, feels footfall is still down but welcomed the changes.

She said: “The centre doesn’t feel as busy as this time last year, especially with shorter opening times.

“There is almost no evening shopping, as most stores are currently closing at 5 or 6pm, not the usual 8pm.

“Many Oxford stores also thrive on tourism. At peak times at the weekends, there seem to be many people walking around the centre and queuing for the escalators.

“As a member of staff working in retail at this time, it’s hard not to feel nervous about the volume of people you’re serving.

“However, in comparison to other shopping centres, the Westgate feels safer as it’s mostly outdoors and distancing measures have been put in place.”

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