Factory outlet shopping is a big thing at Bandung in Indonesia and for those who thought the experience is similar to the polo ralph outlets at Batam / Bintan; let me tell you that it's not even on the same level!
There were the standalone branded outlets which i didn't quite like as the deals were similar to Singapore (at IMM, Changi City Point etc) and my affection lies with the bigger scale outlet stores which can span over a few floors with a wide range of brands.
I didn't go to ALL of them in my recent trip as the number was just mind boggling although i did manage to check out the more famous ones like Rumah Mode, Heritage, Secret and a few others. Listed below are the outlets i went to and a short review from the angle of a man who doesn't really shop much.
The Secret Factory Outlet
My very first factory outlet shopping in Bandung which means my excitement will translate into a secret (pun unintended) mission to take number of pictures for the purpose of this blog.
As you probably deduce, the interior design doesn't deviate much from a typical department store, albeit less the opulence and more the need to stack as much stock as possible to accommodate the different sizes for the attire.
Walk further in to a sheltered courtyard where uninterested family members and friends could sit to wait for their shopaholics mates to finish their shopping. I could identify one such person from my family; my dad who literally doesn't shop for his clothes.
Fret not if you feel bad for those waiting for you to try out the gazillion pieces of clothes; there's a kiosk where desserts and snacks can be purchased.
To free up more time to reduce your guilt for letting them wait, opt for the massage services! You may choose from 30 minutes to 60 minutes and a reflexology for 60 minutes cost just 75,000 rupiah (less than S$10)!
At the back of Secret was the kids' section; i couldn't quite grasp the size of the Jovyn and Jerald as they have grown quite a bit over the years and i had to leave the shopping to the good hands of their mother.
Not being brand conscious and fashionable; i am quite boring in my selection and focused only on tee shirts and maybe polo t-shirt. Unlike the ladies, i browsed really quickly although i spent a lot more time trying the clothes.
My haul at Secret and according to my credit card statement, my bill (including two pieces for my mom not in the above picture) was 1.219 million baht (S$132.19).
Map of Secret
The Oasis Clothing Outlet
Just a short distance away from Secret was The Oasis Clothing Outlet! The two words were missing but according to google, it is the same one.
Scale was much smaller the Secret and nothing attracted my attention except for a wide range of hard rock cafe tees. My mum and sisters were inside quite long though so i figured there must be quite a bit of design and styles.
You can even get Louis Vuitton baggage from The Oasis Clothing Outlet! Now, people have asked me whether branded factory outlets equate to fake goods; answer is they came from legitimate factories contracted by the brands to manufacture the products and the ones sold in factory outlets are the rejected goods. By rejected, it could mean the factory has either manufactured too many pieces (production overruns) or that the products didn't pass the quality control checks.
Map of The Oasis
Heritage Factory Outlet
You would not miss the neoclassical facade of Heritage factory outlet and compared to Secret, it was more crowded. Maybe it also helped that there was a food court right beside the outlet.
A two-floor building, i was utterly bored on the ground floor as it was more ladies / kids stuff and i told my family that i would loiter on my own. As both Joyce and i have mobile roaming, our plan was to give each other two missed calls once either party was done and then to meet at the entrance.
Surprise, surprise; Joyce was the one who missed called me as i was too overwhelmed with what i found on the second floor which was decked out in menswear! There was this "third day" brand of tee shirts that i really like and i kept trying all the available designs.
Following my sentence on rejected goods under "the oasis clothing outlet", our aim as a shopper in Bandung was to pray hard that our purchases were as a result of production overruns. However, you may wish to double check on your products before payment in case it falls under the category of not meeting quality checks.
My damage at Heritage, paid out in cash.
Connected to Heritage factory outlet is Cascade; whatever you want to buy at Heritage should be paid before you venture to Cascade and vice versa. At Cascade, i immersed myself in the brands like Svperbia and Reclays with an eventual damage of 315,000 rupiah mainly because the size i needed wasn't available in the patterns i liked.
Map of Heritage
As above. Cascade is right next door, connected to Heritage.
Merdeka Arcade Factory Outlet
Located within a few minutes' walk from Best Western Premier La Grande hotel, this particular factory outlet was well visited by my mom for its convenience!
Tell you a secret - she was ever the last customer in the building and there were over twenty staff waiting for her to make payment so that they can finally close shop! Mum would have happily taken her time, if not for the ceiling lights that were progressively switched off.
Anyway, designs appeared to from a lower end as seen on the ground floor even though i could be wrong as i didn't venture to the upper floors.
I was amused by the branded paper bags on sale and recollected a period of time in Singapore when brand conscious individuals would carry such bags out when they go to upmarket places like Orchard road.
Map of Merdeka Arcade Factory Outlet
ForMen Factory Outlet
Most factory outlets catered to the fairer sex (for good reasons) and this was one of a few exclusively for the gentlemen; i think i could spend hours inside but we didn't have much time.
Aside from your typical shirts, tees and jeans, there were also branded suits for sale and for those who couldn't stomach the price of a Bally bag sold for more than S$500 apiece at the main Bally store, it's priced at about S$200 at For Men.
Map of ForMen Factory Outlet
Episode Fashion House
Chanced upon this place as we walked from Amanda Brownies to Kartikasari and decided to venture in despite our lack of time as it was the last day of our journey and we had to clear the hotel room by 1pm! Time then was 10.30am.
I stayed outside to look after our belongings while the ladies explored the factory outlet. Thinking they would be out in no time, i was wrong in my assumption and immediately took the opportunity to ask my mom to look over the belongings when she just happened to be in my sight!
The place was huge; hence explaining why my siblings were not out yet! As usual, the men section was on level two and i happily spent some time at the underwear section which was rather extensive. Top-wise, i think i had bought way too many!
Map of Episode Fashion House
Rumah Mode Factory Outlet
Translated as Fashion House in Bahasa Indonesia, Rumah Mode (mode is pronounced mo-dei), this was the crème de la crème for Bandung's factory outlets with Jakarta residents making a beeline for it on weekends!
Architecture was Balinese i guess and there's a relaxed atmosphere in the outdoors. It did help that the weather then was pretty cloudy and there was a gentle breeze; no sweat!
Signage navigating clueless visitors like us.
I regretted having pepper lunch at Paris Van Java as there was a big food court at Rumah Mode with ample selections to meet the entire family's taste buds!
Knowing my mom was literally tired out by the endless shopping, i suggested signing her up for a foot massage at Tao Reflexology right above the food court.
Price list as above; do keep in mind to add three zeros at the back of each price. For example, a one-hour foot massage cost 68,000 rupiah, not 68 rupiah.
I didn't partake in that relaxing activity as i was keener with therapeutic shopping! Customer service was top-notch at Rumah Mode; they would eagerly help me rummaged through the stack of clothes for the size i preferred instead of brushing me off. Only problem was that i visited on a Sunday and it was packed with people!
Showing this for the second or third time as i was so happy with my purchases of 1.544 million rupiah consisting of tees, boxers, bermuda shorts, beach shorts and sweaters! My biggest haul in the entire trip!
Map of Rumah Mode
Standalone Branded Outlet
As mentioned in the beginning of this post, there were differences to factory outlets and standalone factory outlets. I stepped into a few notable ones as they happened to be along the way near Episode Fashion House when we walked from Amanda Brownies to Kartikasari.
Polo Ralph Lauren - unlike their Bintan / Batam counterparts, i could feel the superior quality of the shirts' material and was tempted to increase my already excessive expenditure for this trip.
Marc & Stuart - selling shoes and sandals, i am unaware of this brand and went in purely out of curiosity; eventually got a pair of nice sandals for about SS$10.
Nike Factory Store - entered because i can recognise the brand although it's been a while since i last had any Nike products in my house.
I didn't find the items cheaper than Singapore but it may be fairer for Nike fans to make a better judgment call. See that turquoise top? Original price was 599,000 rupiah and it was discounted to 340,000 rupiah.
Shoes were generally over S$100.
Adidas Outlet - i prefer casual shoes over sports shoes and thought i can finally replace the ones i have at home; assuming at that point that pricing would be substantially cheaper than Singapore!
Original price; 1.599 million rupiah and discounted to almost 1.19 million. Converted to more than S$120, it's way beyond my budget of less than S$100 since i wear out my shoes rather fast.
18 tops, 5 bottoms, 2 underwear with 3 pairs of slippers / sandals not show in the above picture. While i had a healthy haul from the Bandung trip and was looking forward to my next visit, my siblings and mom were restrained in their purchases as they didn't quite like the fashion style and pattern of what's available.
For the itinerary of my five days, four nights inaugural trip to Bandung, please click here.