Most retail chains in South Africa have a factory outlet store situated in a value mall used for clearing end of ranges or sale merchandise.
These locations have been created from the demand of brands to have a cheap rental store which will sell off old stock from the chains other stores situated in flagship malls with expensive rentals such as Sandton City, V&A Waterfront etc.
The Factory outlet stores attract consumers who maybe cannot afford to pay the price points at the upmarket malls but still want to buy these brands at more affordable price points.
Nike, Addidas, Puma, Guess, Pringle are a few of the brands you will typically find in the value malls.
Johannesburg has Woodmead and World Wear, Pretoria has Atterbury, and Durban has Springfield. In my opinion the best value shopping centre in the country is Access Park, Kenilworth in Capetown. The reason I say this is most of the others are made up of many small locations around each other, and often you need to get back into your car to drive to the next location to continue your factory shopping. Access Park has all the stores together so once you are parked, you can walk to every store at ease.
Another reason I feel they are the best is Access Park was one of the pioneers of this concept and have grown up with the traders and have succeeded in creating a great selection of brands to attract the value shopper. They also have a unique consumer base with all walks of life shopping together in harmony with the same objective to seek out top branded product at bargain prices.
One negative is the amount of parking which is available to the customers. Although recently expanded, it has not nearly enough parking bays to accommodate the demand of the shoppers. My advice is to shop Monday to Thursday or if you really must go over a weekend, then go early and secure a parking bay before the crowds arrive.
Another word of warning is related to the product on offer. Some stores only sell genuine clearance or sale merchandise but many others have full price product on display with prices the same as you will pay in the upmarket malls. You will also not only find cheap prices, with the exchange rate being what it is at the moment.
In Nike for example you will see most of the running shoes are above the R1000 mark. You will have on offer some styles at R499 and R699 but these are few and far between.
Cape Union Mart is one store which offers authentic merchandise at great prices. Genuine clearance product priced competitively resulting in many bargains for the consumer. This is why when I visited the store on a Friday morning the floor was full of shoppers, definately the busiest store in Access Park. You can also buy Poetry and Old Khaki ranges at this location at really increadable prices. This is a bonus.
Nike have recently relocated and in the process have upgraded the image of the store. For me this is a negitive as I enjoyed shopping in the old location. It really felt like a value store and gave you confidence you were going to leave with Nike product at a bargain price. The new store just feels expensive and not what you would expect in Access Park.
In the old Nike location Typo and Cotton On kids have opened and I must say the Typo store gave me the best customer service than any other store I visited that day. They don’t care if they are selling clearance sale items, they still come forward and offer assistance and provide that extra service.
All the other stores have the attitude “You are buying our great brand at cheap prices, don’t expect any customer service from us as well”
Most disappointing stores were Aldo and Forever New. Far too much merchandise packed into such a small space with lots of clutter around the point of sale. Very off putting in both stores and simply makes you want to leave and go to one of the other more professionaly managed stores.
Definately worth a visit to this location, don’t forget to go to the very end of the road where Cotton On have a 1000 M2 store and a great Croc store is also at the end.
enjoy your shopping.