September 15, 2010

Beijing Yansha Outlets, China…factory outlet equivalent with real (not fakes) branded stuff

This bargain mall is made up of three complexes. Building C has a number of outlet stores selling Branded stuff on the ground floor. Names like Kent & Curwen, Hugo Boss, Timberland, Kenzo, Tommy Hilfiger, Dunhill, Nine West….you get the point. Upon checking and reconfirming with the locals and those in the know, I have been assured that these are the real things…not fakes. I don’t recognise a single brand on the second floor while the third floor seems to have some restaurants and a small electronics section (Apple, etc..).

Buildings A and B are for those willing to brave the overwhelming selection. Both resemble big department stores; there are no individual outlets here, just divisions marked by shop signage. Building A has an impressive selection of sunglasses on the ground floor. The sporting goods on the second floor features a Nike Factory Outlet Store and selections from brands such as Puma, Adidas and Columbia.

I was told by the locals that this mall was very popular when it first opened but its popularity has since dwindled. Having been there personally, I can understand why. Though it’s understandable that most of these bargain malls carry fashion of a few seasons ago, it’s either you can’t find the size you want or the prices are not really low. But if you look hard enough, you will find some bargains that is a steal. That’s the true truth as I say it as it is…

June 6, 2010

Parndorf Designer Outlet, Vienna…unreliable shuttle service

Parndorf isn’t a particularly well-known destination within Austria, but it does receive a few travelers, most of whom make a brief stop to see the Outlet Center.

Parndorf Designer Outlet  has a shuttle service every Friday and Saturday. Costs €7 return trip. Pick-up point at  Ringstrasse across the road from the Opera, Operngasse 4, Wien.

But be warned…the unreliability of the service means you could be standing in the cold (in my case, as it was in March) for 90 minutes. The shuttle was scheduled for hourly runs. By the time Bert and I arrived at the stop at 1.20pm, it was still a good 40 minutes to go before 2.00pm. There were no seats, nor shelter, so we gamely waited by the side of the road. But 2.00pm came and went and still there was no sign of the shuttle. By 2.30pm, half the crowd had dispersed…some having given up, others, seeked shelter from the cold. The shuttle duly arrived at 3.00pm. No apologies made, no explanations given.

I like malls/shopping centers but honestly don’t care for the ones here. The shops in general just aren’t as nice as some I’ve been to in other countries. Sure, they’ve got known high-end names such as Lacoste, Armani, etc., and medium range ones like Benetton, Tommy Hilfiger, etc. The goods are cheaper since they were mainly the previous season’s ‘hot’ fashion, now considered as passe’. Nothing particularly special.

It does take some patience to look around since the area is huge! One positive point about Parndorf is that you can freely speak English in all the shops there. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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