Durban - The rand keeps on dropping while the price of petrol and food keeps on sky-rocketing.
It’s tough economic times and the bank balance has to be constantly kept intact, meaning less spending on luxuries and necessities.
With that in mind, I set out on a bargain hunting mission this week to some of the city’s factory shops, outlets, markets and warehouses looking for stores that offer the best value for money.
My factory shop run included visiting shops at Mathews Meyiwa (Stamford Hill) Road, Brickhill Road, Springfield’s Value Centre, and Brickfield Road.
I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of factory shops around, all of which were offering unbelievable bargains on a wide range of goods and products from clothing, footwear, to furniture, cosmetics and accessories. It was discount galore.
I started off at Stamford Road where the stretch of road has over the years gained popularity with shopaholics and fashionistas looking for quality, branded clothing at bargain prices.
My first stop was New Balance, which sells exercise shoes and apparel at slashed prices. The store was abuzz with sportsmen and women who were shopping up a storm.
Store salesman Hloo Macheza, who had his hands full assisting customers, said the shop was always packed because of its affordable prices.
With running shoes for both men and women going for R399, I found myself buying a pair.
“Because people are buying directly from us, they pay three or four times less than they would have paid at high-end retail stores,” said Macheza.
The store operates from Monday to Friday (8.30am-5pm) and Saturday (8.30am-2pm).
Next door to New Balance is the Factory Outlet Store, which also sells branded fitness shoes.
Grab A Bargain offers branded clothing and accessories for discounted prices. I bought myself two dresses, one monochrome and the other checked for R50 each. I had seen the same dresses at a shopping mall priced at R120.
Bear Factory Shop, Fashion 4 U, Shorty’s and Moondrops– all on the same street – also offer branded clothing for the whole family at low prices.
The biggest clothing outlet on Stamford Hill Road is without a doubt Fashion Fusion branded and chainstore clothing retailers, which has over the years expanded its stores.
Starting out with a women’s store, the chainstore has in recent years opened men’s and kiddies stores. And, understanding that shopping can be an exhausting exercise, the store recently opened a café which sells light meals for famished shoppers.
At the Value Centre in Springfield Park the Nike factory shop sells a wide variety of Nike apparel, footwear and accessories at discount prices.
The Homewear factory shop, Just Plastics, which sells baskets, basins, buckets and a range of catering appliances is at the same centre.
The Marine Salvage Warehouse in Brickfield Road, in Overport, is your best bet to find home furniture bargains.
With a catchy slogan “saving more on famous brands” Jam Clothing stores are to be found in Anton Lembede (West) Street, Berea, Game City, Hillcrest, and Pinetown, has also built a reputation among bargain shoppers as one of the best factory shops.
Kingsmead Shoes at the Value Centre, and Bram Fisher (Old Fort) Street, pride themselves about knowing shoes are more than just something one puts on their feet. Because wearing the right shoe helps one make the most of every day, the shoe store has unique quality shoes for affordable prices.
For surfing gear, The Surf Shop in Brickhill Road has some of the best brands, like Volcom, O’Nell, Billabong and Rip Curl.
The Denim Dungeon Factory Shop at 122 Ramsay Avenue, Mayville offers Durbanites the largest selection of men’s and women’s high-fashion, stylish denim clothing.
Although Durban has an overwhelming choice of some of the finest shopping malls and high-end retail stores, I found shopping at the factory outlets a pleasant change.
Not only did I buy top brands at low prices, but factory shops allowed me to make my desired purchases without breaking the bank.
* E-mail us and tell us what was your best factory shop experience: nondumiso. mbuyazi @inl.co.za