Sunday, 20 January 2013

Shopping High: A Trip to the Factory

A friend was here on a weekend visit from the Netherlands. Her goal for the trip was to buy some shoes and eat her way through Madrid, the former being the perfect excuse to finally drop by the Factory outlet on the northern part of Madrid. The Factory outlet at SS De Los Reyes is only a fifty minute trip from my accommodation and just a short 10 minute bus ride from the office, so I was all excited to see what good discoveries we'd find.

The outlet, located on the outskirts of the city, is huge to say the least. Us three girl friends spent half a day checking the stores and we only managed to check about 50% of the shops. We had to prioritize since we wanted to go to Madrid central in the evening to give our visiting friend a feel of the city center, but even our six hours of shopping yielded great results.

There are a lot of stores at this outlet shop, the complete list of brands can be seen here.

We had no time to check all the shops, but here's what we saw and liked:

Bimba & Lola : L, our friend from NL, was able to score a beautiful pair of midheight striped stilettos which was marked down from 165€ to 21€, and surprise surprise! when the item was punched in, the price at the till was only 17€.

Benetton Outlet: The best buys were the Benetton and Sisley bags which were selling for 30€ per item, 2 for 50€. And most bags had original prices of 65€ each! I plan to come back and buy some bags as stocks for my little shop in the Philippines soon.

The Benetton Outlet at the Factory

Discounted Benetton and Sisley bags

Mango Outlet: The clothes at the Mango outlet run from 2€ each. Even Mango bags were on sale.

I bought the most expensive item in my shopping list here: A winter coat which was originally priced at 99.99€. I only paid 39.99€ for it!

There are also shops for Adidas, Camper, Desigual, Moulinex, Nike, Pull & Bear, plus a lot of good Spanish leather brands.

I was also very happy to see a Mascaro outlet selling Pretty Ballerinas for only 50€! ( Pretty Ballerinas ballet flats are similar to the french shoe brand Repetto in both appeal and prices). There's also a Parfois outlet at the Factory. I like Parfois for its great fashion jewelries and very affordable bags and shoes. I saw a faux leather bag in teal that I liked and it was only 16€ but because I've reached my shopping budget, I'll come back for Parfois and Pretty Ballerinas some other time.

I've set a maximum budget of 100€ for this trip to the Factory and I was so happy I was able to go below, well okay, barely below my shopping budget.

Here's what I bought:

The breakdown:
Intisimmi floral shirt: 6.60€
Cortefiel khaki pants: 9.99€
Mango blue cardigan: 5.00€
Mango black winter coat 39.99€

There was also a Lindt store at the outlet and it had a wide variety of Lindt Lindors (truffles) available so I bought some too for us friends to share. You basically choose whatever variant of truffles you wanted, have them weighed and pay for them. The price was 2.70€ per 100 g. I bought about 300g worth of Lindors with flavors such as Champagne, Coconut, Menthe, Pumpkin, Vino, Straciatella and Raspberry.

This little bundle of Lindors (minus the five balls we've eaten) was about 7.00€. To be honest, I don't think the Lindt items were discounted, I think I just got carried away seeing all those uncommon Lindt flavors. Oh, well.

Near the tailend of our shopping journey, a beautiful sight made my tired feet and spirit oh so alert!

There was a big outlet shop of Kiko Cosmetics at the Factory! Kiko Cosmetics is a Milan-based professional make-up company that's been getting raves for its highly pigmented and value for money make-ups. The best thing about Kiko is that all their products are made in Italy and the prices are really affordable, with lipstick prices from 3€ to 6€. Their makeups have been compared to MAC, Urban Decay and MUFE in beauty reviews in the US and have been positive, touting Kiko as a cheaper yet comparable quality alternative to these more established makeup brands. This, despite Kiko being only available in select countries in Europe.

The brand is not yet offered outside of Europe so I was doubly excited both for myself as now I can try their much raved eye shadows and lipsticks and the fact that now I can get Kiko at lower than the regular retail prices and offer them to TLCshop's clients in the Philippines.

I will post a separate blog entry about Kiko, but here's what I bought for myself, most items were discounted (i.e. not the regular price at the Kiko website):

2 pieces Creamy Touch Eye Shadow Duo at 2.00€ each
2 lipsticks at 2.00€ each
1 Nail Lacquer at 3.90€
1 Nail Polish Remover 3.90€ (regular price)

And that's my first foray to the Factory outlet in Madrid, it was tiring but oh-so rewarding. And because it's very near the office where I work, I might just find myself at the outlet every friday after work to unwind. :-) Discount shopping equals stress relief , right? :-)

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