Category: Outlet Shopping

About Shopping Center

A shopping center, shopping mall, shopping precinct, shopping arcade or simply mall is defined as one or more buildings that form a complex of shops that represent merchandisers, having interconnecting walkways that enable visitors to walk easily between different units, along with a parking area. Therefore it can be simply defined as an indoor modern version of a traditional marketplace.

The term “shopping center” is mostly used in Europe, South America and Australia. In Hong Kong the frequently used term is the same, but might also contain words like “plaza”. However, in North America and the Philippines, the common term used is “shopping mall”. There are places where other terms are used to basically describe the same thing, such as “shopping arcade” or “shopping precinct”.

Shopping centers corresponded with the suburban living rise in many of the Western World parts after World War II, especially United States. Modern strip malls have developed from the 1920s. The design had a tendency to be inward facing from early on, where malls would follow theories of how could customers be attracted in a controlled environment. Similarly, the concept of having one or more big stores in a mall was pioneered early, considering that other smaller scale chain stores or individual stores would benefit from the shoppers that were attracted by the big stores.

There are some different types of centers, based on how large they are and where they are placed.

  • Regional – a regional mall is a shopping mall designed to service a large area (15 miles), larger than a conventional mall. Therefore, it can vary between 400,000 square feet to 800,000 square feet. It also has at least two big stores, and has to offer a wide selection of stores. The tendency of those malls s to have higher-end stores, which need a larger area to have profitable services, and may also have discount department stores. In vacation areas, these malls are usually tourist attractions.
  • Super regional – this is a shopping mall with more than 800,000 square feet of gross leasable area, probably 3 or more big stores, more variety, mass merchant, and fashion apparel. This type of mall usually is the dominant shopping venue in the region where it is located.
  • Outlet – this is a type of shopping center where manufacturers can sell their products through their own stores directly to the public. Some stores may be operated by retailers, mostly selling discontinued products or returned goods, and therefore having a heavily reduced price.

Components of a shopping center

  • Food court – typically consists of several fast food vendors that surround a shared seating area.
  • Department stores – these exist to draw retail traffic, resulting in people visiting the smaller stores as well. Physically, those anchor stores are located as far as possible from each other, in order to maximize the traffic amount between them.
  • Stand-alone stores – consist of satellite buildings, usually located on the same tract of land or nearby. Those stores may or may not be in a legal connection with the central facility through ownerships or contracts. They may use common parking lots or have their own ones. However, those stores and the shopping center are usually perceived as one single unit.

Shopping in Majorca

Typified by the island’s bustling capital Palma which boasts of a rich assortment of shopping venues, Majorca offers shopaholics a chance to indulge in their passion. Be it trendy designer wear to local products which range from leather to pearls and footwear to ceramics, this vibrant island has it all and die-hard and casual shoppers alike will find themselves surrounded by countless shopping opportunities enough to tempt even the most budget conscious visitor.

Home to laidback coastal settings, stunning natural scenery and varied Majorca hotels,¬†this scenic island also has a host of local markets which are ideal for bargain hunters looking for that one of a kind item which will make their collection complete. These markets vary from those that deal in local food products to popular flea markets where one can spend hours going through a wide variety of odds and ends. Those visiting the markets also have a chance to mingle with the island’s inhabitants and enjoy some colourful local culture which one may otherwise miss out on. Shoppers should also keep in mind that most of the markets do not take place everyday and thus it is a good idea to plan ones sightseeing tour to correspond with particular weekly markets which take place in different parts of Majorca.

Shoppers looking to save time can alternatively head to the island’s large department stores and commercial centres. Based around the main resorts such as Palma, these large shopping centres cater to those looking to conveniently find a wide range of products and fashions under one roof. Home to diverse shops, boutiques and food outlets, these one stop shop malls are also ideal places to do some window shopping or even get those last minute gifts for loved ones back home.

Those planning to visit the many shops and stores around where they are staying should also keep in mind that they are holidaying in Spain and thus siesta time is not to be put aside even when it comes to shopping! A great majority of shops are open in the mornings from 0930hrs (9:30 AM) to 1400hrs (2 PM) before closing for the afternoon, which is also a great time for weary travellers to get some rest after a long day of sightseeing and sunbathing. Evening heralds the island’s famous sunset and nightlife atmosphere and shops reopen from around 1700hrs (5 PM) to 2000hrs (8 PM). This is a great time for one to do some shopping before sampling some local tapas and partying till the break of dawn. While most shops are open from Monday to Saturday, operating hours are by no means set in stone and one will find some of the large department stores open even during siesta time.

So when next planning a family holiday or even an all out shopping excursion, be sure to find hotels in Majorca which are within easy reach of the island’s many shops and markets. Those interested in taking full advantage of this shopper’s paradise will find more in depth information available on the various types of Majorca shopping opportunities in “Shopping in Majorca: Retail therapy on an island paradise!”

Discount Shopping

To buy on the internet is the latest tool and the consumer is the real winner in it all. Searching online for discount is easy if you know where to look. For example, one of the most popular places for shopping specials is a comparison shopping search engine. Discount shopping is buying things below normal retail price. This means buying things at or below wholesale price.

Online discount shopping has come of age. Buyers all over the World have learned to take advantage of the convenience and savings of shopping for designer clothes, jewelry, watches and women’s shoes online. Online stores are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Online sales is a great way to cash in on the special offers made by companies and stores offering a whole range of products and services. Discounts range from gift reward points programs, certificates, bargain sales, clearances to free shipping offers to even free product offers. Searching the internet for sales is no longer the preserve of the poorest. An increasing number of consumers are willing to purchase only the product benefits and are unwilling to pay the cost of branding, expensive packaging and other sources of the emotional benefits that FMCG companies would like to imbue in their products.

Discount shopping is a fun and rewarding experience for many and is also available on many items at the store. The experience of getting new items for a less taxing price leads both men and women to spend more money than they intended. Shopping online is much easier and faster than going from store to store in your local town and struggling to find the gifts you need through crowded aisles.

Discount shopping is the latest tool and the consumer is the real winner in it all. It is becoming the favorite way of buying products, a great way to cash in and a fun and rewarding experience for many, men and women.

Shop Like a Man

Men don’t like the idea of looking for their own clothes but perhaps this happens because they often find themselves being clueless about their shopping. Here are some things that will help you shop better so you can find better items.

  • Invest in a suit. Yes its true – suits are certainly something that makes an alluring positive impression on other people as long as they are the right type of suits. If you don’t have suits already, you should take the plunge by buying a well fitted and tailored black suit. Razor sharp suits that cut a good silhouette will make a huge difference to your appearance.
  • Most men feel hurried and confused when they are shopping. The idea is to take a few deep breathes, calm yourself and jot down a list of things you actually want. Don’t think about shopping as some dull or forced task but think of it as an adventure that you are about to have.
  • When buying a suit stick to hand sewn stitches which are definitely more flexible. By simply checking the seams inside of the jacket, you can check to see if there is one single thread running in a wavy pattern or two threads joined in a more chain like style. Single thread in wavy pattern is a sign that the seams are hand sewn while the other is machine sewn.
  • When buying the overcoat, you need something made out of cashmere or wool. Those are simply the best materials to buy and you can even buy a blend of these two fabrics. Overcoats should also be waterproof.
  • Button fly trousers are great but you should count the buttons first. Two or less than two buttons are not such a great idea and you should ask them to tailor the trousers with a one-inch break. Only a small amount of cloth should go over your shoes.
  • When buying shoes learn to spot bad leather choices. Bend the shoes while testing as if you would bend your shoe while walking. When the shoe returns to flat position the leather should return to it original position but if it has wrinkles, that a sign that the leather is not of good quality. Also make sure you buy shoes in the evening or night time when they are most expanded.
  • Buying a sweater is all about the fabric and you should notice where the sweater is manufactured. Scotland and Mongolia offer the best wool while usually United States and some other country wool aren’t that amazing. If you hold the sweater to light and put your hand behind it, you will find that quality wool will not allow your hand to be seen through.
  • For cashmere sweater testing, rub your fingers after touching the sweater and look for a greasy residue. If there is any of this residue on your hand that is most likely from the chemicals that are used to make inferior cashmere look attractive. If there is no residue then you have got good cashmere on your hands.

Deals While Shopping in Rome

Mid-range clothing stores

The streets around Via del Corso, Via Nazionale, and Via dei Giubbonari are good streets where you will find many of the locals shop. You can find some good mid-range clothing options in this district.

2nd hand clothing in Rome

A curvy street that runs off of a small courtyard off of Piazza Navona, going towards the river, is Via del Governo Vecchio. This road has many second hand clothing stores and women’s boutiques where you may be able to find a good bargain.

Food and Clothing

Right near the Vatican across from the Tiber river, an interesting place to shop is Via Cola di Rienzo where you can find some clothing, shoe stores, along with some food outlets, stalls and department stores.

Art galleries in Rome

Also near the Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna) is Via Margutta, a little north of the famous square is a street renowned for its contemporary art galleries.

Sales in Rome

The best time to find sales will depend on the season. The winter sales run end in mid February, and start in January. The summer sale season goes from mid July to end of September.

Business hours

Shopping hours in Rome generally run as follows:

Monday to Saturday – 9:30AM to 1PM then 3:30PM to 7:30PM (winter) 8:00PM (summer)

Some of the larger shops and department stores will operate continuously for the hours listed above. Many of the smaller shops are closed on Monday mornings.

Money, Credit Cars and Traveler’s Checks

Cash is king in Italy, but credit cards and traveler’s checks are also accepted. It is always best to ask before ringing up a purchase. Often times, they will add a surcharge of approximately 3% if you are using a credit card. They will most certainly require a passport if you do use a credit card as a form of identification.

So once you are done with all the sights of Rome on your Italian holiday vacation, take in a little shopping as Rome has some great merchandise that you can take back home.

Buona Spesa – happy shopping!

Shopping Sexy Lingerie

The first rule is stay away from the malls and major retail outlets, because generally your large department stores have lingerie departments that contain foundations, such as bras and panties, all the way to robes and lounging outfits. These stores certainly have their place, but they generally do not carry the selection of sexy lingerie necessary, and they are cold and uninviting. So where do you go to buy your sexy lingerie?

Here is the first mistake couples make when going shopping, they find the local boutiques that exist in most major metropolitan areas and many smaller communities. You can find them in the yellow pages under lingerie or in alternative newspapers in your area, which are the ones that are free and are in restaurants and smaller boutiques throughout the country. Why shop here? One reason is the type of lingerie and adult products they sell is generally more risque, unique, and naughty than found in any mall. Another reason may be the atmosphere as it is generally more conducive to having fun as they are generally smaller, more intimate venues, and their clientele generally are couples, dancers, and adults, as opposed to the department stores where everyone from eight to eighty tends to shop.

What do you do if there are no shops in your area? One alternative is to shop on-line, which can be terrific as well. Another alternative is to plan a trip to a town near you that does have such a store that is easy driving distance to your home and include that store in your itinerary. Now that you have found the store you need to find out some things about it before venturing in to shop, which is why you should call them on the telephone and ask them the following questions. Do they have a website and if so, you may want to spend some time looking at their merchandise and get an idea of what you may like.

Another question may be to ask what their policies are, because most people do not think to inquire about the store policies, and this is a great way to improve the quality of your shopping experience. More questions may include, do they allow two people in the dressing room at a time, how many items can be tried on at a time, do they allow cameras in the store, what items can and cannot be tried on, and what are their return policy. Some stores allow and encourage men to go into the dressing room with the woman while others do not, which is helpful as you can help her lace up that corset, and can be exciting as you are watching her get undressed and dressed, as opposed to sitting outside the dressing room while she peeks out.

Christmas Shopping Destinations in UK

Oxford Street, London

Forty million shoppers making their annual Christmas pilgrimage every year can’t be wrong. People come for the lights, the two mile stretch of 300+ shops, the extended ranges in many of the international flagship stores and the massive amount of choice (Selfridges, Top Shop, Nike Town, John Lewis, the list goes on). Although they probably don’t come for the crowds. Oxford Street is one of London’s top tourist attractions and is still one of the most popular shopping destinations in the world.

Manchester

England’s unofficial second city has the cooler edge on many of it’s rivals. Not even counting the The Arndale Centre, this city is a shoppers paradise and is crammed full of small niche retailers, vintage/retro boutiques and shabby chic/boho stores many with an original Mancunian style. Perfect if you really stuck for Christmas shopping ideas – just remember to pack the umbrella!

Brighton & Hove

Even though it’s a small city, Brighton & Hove has made it high on the list because of it’s amazingly diverse range of shops from chic boutiques, contemporary unique fashions to antiques and original art and jewellery. The more bohemian and trendy shops are located in Brighton’s North Laines. Wander the half a square mile of streets and alleys buying 50s and 60s kitsch, aspirational lifestyle products or french reproduction furniture and then stop for a mung bean burger at one of the many health and vegetarian food outlets. Designer bargains are to be found in the Brighton Marina and the big name stores are located in Churchill Square.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a very aesthetically pleasing shopping location and is often considered one of the most beautiful cities in Britain. People brave the cold to come here and view the sights as well as do their Christmas shopping. The locals take style and consumerism very seriously and as well as being packed with designer names (Stella McCartney, Louis Vuitton, Prada etc) there are plenty of hip and trendy smaller boutique shops.

Birmingham

England’s official second city shouldn’t disappoint would be shoppers, it’s an easier place to get your bearings than you might think with most shops located in the newly redeveloped Bull Ring and New Street. Brummies love trendy designer labels but they also love a bargain. They also love unusual architecture (the ¬£40 million futuristic Selfridges building is worth coming to Birmingham to see in itself although, having said that, it might not be to everyones taste!). As well as all the major high street shops including Harvey Nichols and House of Fraser, the well-known jewellery quarter should sort you out with all your bling!

Spitalfields Market, London

Okay this would be the alternative choice but if you’re fed up with the same old stuff in all the usual high street stores then Spitalfields market with it’s eclectic range of stalls – many with original designs – is definitely worth a visit. Buy your cool cousin an original leather satchel, your mum a vintage brooch, your niece or nephew a trendy printed babygrow or just pick up a slice of wheat-free Christmas cake.

Newcastle

If you like your shopping experience to be on a very large scale then this would definitely be the place to visit. The enormous Metrocentre is probably the reason most people travel to Newcastle for shopping as it’s one of largest shopping and leisure centres in Europe. North Easterners also have a fondness for original designs so as well as the usual high street favourites there is also a wide range of independent shops and a popular art and craft market each Sunday on Armstrong Bridge in Jesmond.

Buying High Quality Jewelry

  • Determining your metal. Most metals are mixed with others to increase durability. Take gold for example. If you are buying something that is 24 karat gold, that means it is 100% gold. However, gold is an extremely soft metal and is often mixed with other metals to make it more durable. The mixing of metals can also make the item of jewelry more affordable. Precious metals like platinum can be very expensive and mixing it with another metal can bring the cost down without influencing the quality of the piece. Make sure to ask the jeweler if the metal has been mixed with anything. This is especially important if you have allergies to any specific types of metal.
  • Looking at precious stones can be a challenge. Whether you’re buying a necklace, ring, or earrings precious stones are often incorporated into these pieces. Gemstones, pearls, and diamonds often undergo different treatments to give them different qualities. Ask your jeweler about what treatments that particular stone has received and how it’s going to affect it in the long run.
  • Check into the return policy of the jeweler before you buy. Trust your instinct, if the jeweler seems shady; don’t be afraid to back away. The last thing you need is to purchase an inferior quality jewelry piece and not be able to return it.
  • Be aware of your audience when you purchase a piece of jewelry. For example, if you’ve been dating someone for a long time but aren’t ready to make the plunge into some kind of long term commitment you should probably stay away from any kind of ring. Rings, in particular, are loaded with symbolisms that tell someone that you’re in it for the long haul.
  • Finally, if you’re sure you want to buy jewelry for yourself or someone else but you’re feeling nervous, take someone with you. It never hurts to have a second opinion and an extra pair of eyes out there to look out for you.

Buying Kids Sunglasses

    • Frames for kids sunglasses should neither be too tight or too loose. Go for frames made of materials that don’t slide easily from the child’s face for example rubber, which fits closely yet still very comfortable for the kid.
    • Since children are often playing and running around,go for sunglasses with frames that don’t break very easily. Nylon frames can bend and go back to their original position without breaking and can withstand more impact compared to metal frames.
    • Fit the sunglasses on to the child’s face and check to see that they cover the whole eye area and if possible a bit of their cheeks and forehead. This will ensure maximum UV protection even if the kid is bending at an angle. Dust and other particles will also be effectively shielded from getting to the kid’s eyes. Wraparound sunglasses are becoming a trend in kid’s sunglasses because they cover the eye area well.
    • Get sunglasses with cable temples (temples that have a hook shape that coils around the back of the ear). This will be more comfortable for the kid as they don’t slide or drop when they bend. You can also fix a strap or rubber band that goes around to the back of their head to hold the sunglasses in place throughout. You should however be very careful with rubber bands and straps if you are dealing with a toddler as they can cause chocking if left unattended.
    • Sunglasses frames with spring hinges are the most durable for kids because they can withstand over stretching when the kid is taking them off or putting on.
    • Frames for kid’s sunglasses should be made of light material to make sure the kid does not feel the load of the sunglasses hence more comfortable in them.

Milan Shopping Guide

If you come to Milan to shop, one of your first stops should be its Brera neighborhood. This picturesque shopping area offers tourists the the opportunity to find unique treasures and items by little known – but up and coming – designers. Small boutiques along narrow streets are the norm here, and it is considered by many to be one of the most pleasant areas in Milan for strolling and shopping at a leisurely pace. Boasting the highest concentration of clothes stores in all of Europe, Corso Buenos Aires is another must see district if you come to Milan to shop. It is impossible to make much of a dent in the the many boutiques here; indeed, one could spend an entire afternoon and not hope to see even a fraction of the offerings. It is a real shoppers’ paradise in Milan, especially for those looking for marathon shopping experiences.

While Milan is world renowned for its high end fashion, there are still plenty of bargains to be had. Head over to Binda, near the lake, to get incredible deals on shirts, scarves and ties. Or if you seek bargains on some of Milan’s famed silk clothing, check out Frey. This outlet store is located on the western edge of the old section of town and is teeming with clothing and accessories deals. Sprinkled throughout and around Milan are its well regarded Coin stores. These department stores offer a fine selection of excellent quality clothing, accessories, handbags and jewelry. There are also great deals to be had on housewares on the basement level of most coin stores. If you come to northern Italy, you simply must check out this Milanese institution. No shopping trip to Milan could hope to be complete without a stop at its preeminent department store, La Rinascente. Here, shoppers can find absolutely anything imaginable when it comes to high end fashion and clothing. Make a day of it by enjoying one of its top floor restaurants; have a snack of a gourmet meal, then head back out for more shopping!

Those looking for outdoor markets in Milan truly have their work cut out for them. That’s because Milan is bursting at the seams with great options. If you’re looking for shoes, head to the Mercato di Via S. Marco on Monday and Thursday mornings. In addition to shoe stalls, shoppers can enjoy many fine foods and a premier selection of knitwear, including a selection by Valentino. Milan’s elite regard this market to be the best available, but its far from the only one. On Saturdays and Tuesdays from about 9am to 1pm, head to the huge Mercato Papiniano for amazing deals on designer duds. Those looking for antiques must head to the Mercatone dell’Antiquario on the last Sunday of the month. And to check out something a little different, try the Via Armorari on Sunday mornings to take in its stamp, coin and postcard collectors in action.