Chapelfield’s bi-annual student lock- in always promises to be a great night. With discounts in most stores it’s the perfect time to buy the latest trends from your favourite shops while on a measly student budget. Or so you would think.


Photo: Tour Norfolk

The night was said to include 30% off across stores, free drinks and live music with a selection of free giveaways; intrigued? So were we.

Being students we all love a good night out, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that when we shop we want to be faced with blaring music (please take note Bank). A mini queue, reminiscent of a Thursday night at Mantra, formed outside the Levi shop; their main incentives for enticing shoppers to come in were a DJ and a complimentary bar. This would be perfect, except the shop itself is tiny and they only stocked beer. A disappointment to say the least.

The nightclub theme continued with Lola Lo’s having their own section giving out free juice and goody bags, only if you signed up to their newsletter of course. But for a free pen and some novelty glasses a few emails are most definitely worth putting up with, right?

Outside of Chapelfield itself with Primark always a win-win situation for poor students looking for cheap clothing and Topshop promoting 20% student discount on all items. At least the furore in Chapelfield meant that the exterior shops were relatively empty and much easier to browse in. And let’s be honest, Norwich’s tiny Miss Selfridge is always much more appealing when you’re the only group of people in there. And as for Primark, there’s no more need be said.

For such a supposedly popular event there was a huge lack of students – seriously, town can often be busier on a weekday. The lock-in at first glance seems like the perfect idea for Chapelfield to entice students to purchase their goods. But once there, it is revealed just how much of a trick the night is as the shops just attempt to lure us into buying things that we don’t really need. It doesn’t help when the best stock is hidden out the back and only the dregs are left on the shelves.

The highlight of the night was simply having a fun time with friends and it soon became clear that Chapelfield was lacking in decent products to buy when half of our group left the four hour spree having spent nothing.

If you’re looking for a fun shopping night where you can buy some staple clothing for less than the usual price then this is the perfect night for you, but if you’re hoping for anything more then, sadly, it will probably be a little bit of a let-down.