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Factory shopping centres in France and Belgium.
Many centres are now opening on Sunday during the sale period. Please check their web sites for the latest information.
April 2012 – Exceptional sale at Mac Arthur Glen Shopping Centre – Roubaix (near Lille).
Shopping at a factory shop is often a way of getting an item you want but at a much cheaper price. Moreover, a vast range of products is available in one place. Even if travelling through an area on holiday, it's worth making a detour for a shopping spree at one or more of the many Factory shopping centres in France. Worth visiting are; Roubaix, Troyes and Metz – Talange (Clothes), Arc (for glass), Le Creuset (for cookware) and Villeroy and Boch (table and glassware).
Factory shopping centres have grown quickly in recent years. Between 1993 and 2005 for example, the selling area virtually doubled, from 123,000 square metres (7 centres) to 235,000 square metres. Together with the projects currently under way, it will have increased by 121% by 2007 (17 centres). There are about 45 Factory shopping centres in the United Kingdom.
In France, where sales are regulated, last years stock can be legally discounted for sale at factory shops all year round, as well as over production and discontinued lines. Seconds can be bought as well, and we found that these were clearly marked. Also available is overstock from catalogue companies (in France the main ones are; La Redoute, Les 3 Suisses, Vert Baudet and Damart.
The summer sales in France in 2013 in NORD (59), Pas de Calais (62) and Aube (10 - Troyes, Factory shopping centres) start 26th June and run until 30th July this year. However, many departments have different start and finish dates in 2013. More information (in French) - www.economie.gouv.fr
Another link to French Government website concerning sale dates. www.service-public.fr
The Winter sales start on the second Wednesday in January every year - in 2013 they started 9th January and finished 12th February.
Six departments near the French border are free to set different dates, although often they conform to the National dates (Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle, Vosges, Landes and Pyrénées-Atlantiques.) Additionally, Departments in the South (Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur region) sometimes hold their sales later than the rest of France.
In Belgium the sales are held in January and July.
Many centres are open on Sundays during the sales – check the web sites for up to date information.
Sometimes there are Sunday openings – look at the Sunday shopping page for the latest news.
Coach driver? McArthur Glen at Troyes and Roubaix will provide you with a meal voucher
(French Government link for dates in all regions – more)
CREDIT CARDS – we suggest you ring your credit card company before shopping in France – increased fraud means they are turning down shoppers cards if their spending deviates from the norm. Take your mobile – you can often sort the problem out over the phone.
Troyes Mac Arthur Glen Factory shopping centre. www.mcarthurglentroyes.fr
French brands • Shopping chains • Factory shopping centres • (Belgium) • Markets • Baby • Cars • Car servicing • Chocolate • Customs • DIY • Opticians • Fish • Cheese • Mobile phones • Perfume • Sports • Toys • Weddings
Book by 30th June 2013. Includes a car, up to 4 passengers and all taxes.
Book by 30th May 2013. Includes a car, up to 9 passengers and all taxes.
Use code Spring3Day
Book by 29th June - travel by 30th June 2013. Includes a car, up to 9 passengers and all taxes.
The main chains or centres are;
– Marques Avenue. Centres in Troyes, Paris, Metz, Romans and Cholet (near Nantes). www.marquesavenue.com
– Close to Lille. The site was an old Velvet factory. www.usineroubaix.fr
Smaller chains include;
– Au Fil des Marques, a chain with 16 shops in France. www.aufildesmarques.com
– Chic Outlet Shopping. Centres in Antwerp (Belgium) and Marne-la-Valle (France). www.chicoutletshopping.com
– Visiting Paris? Why not come on a tour to the Marne-la-Valle centre? www.chicoutletshopping.com
– Usines Center (Two centres near Paris). www.usinescenter.com
– Pantheon (First centre opened in Bordeaux in Spring 2008).
– Site des Marques. Useful resource for French brand information. www.sitedesmarques.com
Les Magasins d'Usine. Mostly in French, but comprehensive listings, even if not all places listed are in fact factory shopping centres. www.lesmagasinsdusine.com
– Magasins Usine. Lots of background information. www.magasins-usine.info
Magasins Usine, useful list by department and brand. www.magasinsusine.free.fr
Roubaix, north of Lille, has the largest conglomeration of factory shops in NORD / Pas de Calais.
Tourist Office; www.roubaixtourisme.com
Town Hall; www.mairie-roubaix.fr
Planville map. Where is Roubaix?
– A L'Usine – 228, avenue Alfred Motte. 59100. Roubaix, near Lille. L'Usine is a chain of store factory outlets. This centre is based in an old factory and houses aproximately 70 factory and clearance shops. Tel: 0033 320 83 16 20. Open: Monday to Saturday 10.00am to 7.00pm. www.usineroubaix.fr
– McArthurGlen factory Shopping Centre, 44 Mail de Lannoy. 59100. Roubaix, (near Lille). Tel: 0033 328 33 36 00 and 10. Open: Monday to Saturday 10.00am to 7.00m. Occassional Sunday openings – check web site for latest information. Over 55 shops with discounted goods from last season (designer factory shops). Directions; from Calais – A26 to Dunkirk, A25 to Lille, exit 7 towards Roubaix, then Centre Ville or McArthurGlen signs. www.mcarthurglen.fr
Parking is FREE
There is a market in Roubaix on Mondays at rue Rubens from 8.00am to 2.00pm.
– Verrerie Cristallerie d'Arques, ZI, RN 43, 62510. Arques. Tel: 0033 321 12 74 74 / 95 46 96. www.arc-intl.com Open: Visits at 9.00am, 10.30am, 2.00pm and 3.30pm – Monday to Saturday. Directions; A26, Arques Exit, Calais. Take the tour, which includes a review of the company's history and a display of the making of the crystal. Drive time about 45 minutes from Calais. They produce the following brands; Luminarc, Arcoroc, Pyrex (under license), Salviati and Studionova. Pre-booking is essential. Seconds and end of line items for sale in the shop.
Crations Alpac Factory shop. Route Nationale 43, 62120 Aire-sur-la-Lys (near St. Omer). Tel: 0033 321 95 68 58. Aire-sur-la-Lys (near St Omer)
Huge range of picnic, patio, conservatory and poolside goods. Crations Alpac, RN43, 62120 Aire-sur-la-Lys. Tel: 0033 321 95 68 58.
– Nike Factory Store. Tel: 0033 321 35 52 27, Parc la Francaise, 62231 Coquelles, Calais. www.nike.com
United Kingdom Nike store. www.nike.com
– Tradilinge, 8 Chemin de la blanchisserie. 59400 Cambrai. France. Tel: 0327 83 91 56. "Fabricant de linge de maison" (Manufacturers of household linen). It's easy to get to – Just off the A2 autoroute, which is accessible from the A26 towards Reims. www.tradilinge.com
– Les AUBAINES de La Redoute – Dstockage (Catalogue company). Clothes, fabrics, lots of end of series items, and old stock from this catalgue company. 85, rue de l'Alma. 59100 Roubaix. www.laredoute.fr / www.lesaubaines.fr
Arras (Clothes, household linens). Centre Commercial E. Leclerc. 62000.
Lens (Clothes, household linens). 71 boulevard Basly. 62000.
Lille. 298 rue Gambetta. 59000. Tel: 0033 320 15 29 18.
Roubaix (Furniture). 85, rue de lAlma. 59100. Tel: 0033 320 26 18 71.
Tourcoing. 119 chausse berthelot. 59200. Tel: 0033 320 69 82 42.
– Brand Alley. www.brandalley.fr
– Excdence. Les Trois Suisses (Catalogue company). www.excedence.com
– Modz. www.modz.fr
– Yoox. www.yoox.com
Troyes is about 4 hours driving from Calais (250 miles). Apart from the centre where there are some shops, most of the factory outlets are on the outskirts of town in two main areas; St. Julien Le Villas (Marque City, Marques Avenue) and Zone Pont Sainte Marie (Mc Arthur Glen). Factory shoppings centres originated in Troyes, and the centres here remain the biggest in France.
- Troyes Magusine, website devoted to factory shopping in Troyes. www.troyesmagusine.com
– Marques City, 114, Bd. de Dijon, 10800. St Julien les Villas (Zone Pont Sainte Marie). Tel: 0033 325 82 80 80. 24 shops. Open: Monday 2.00 – 7.00pm. Tuesday to Friday 10.00am – 7.00pm. Saturday 9.30am – 7.00pm. Directions. www.marquescity.com
– Fashion and home centre, 110 retailers; 114 Boulevard de Dijon. 10800. Zone St. Julien les Villas; Directions: A5 Autoroute, Exit 21.
– Decoration, 17 shops specialising in tableware, household linen and decor. 230 Faubourg Croncels. 10000.
– Mc Arthur Glen Factory Shop Centre – La voie du Bois, 10150. Zone Pont-Sainte-Marie. Troyes. 10150. Tel: 0033 325 70 47 10. 80 Shops. Tourists visiting this centre, can ask for discount coupons at the reception desk next to the Mcdonald's. Directions: At the intersection of the A5 and A26 autoroutes. Open: Monday to Friday from 10.00am – 7.00pm, Saturday from 9.30am – 7.00pm. Map. www.mcarthurglentroyes.fr
By car – From MacArthur Glen to Marques Avenue; (from PONT HOLY MARIE). Follow the D960, then take the left to St Julien les Villas – A5. Follow the by-pass to follow Dijon for approximately 900 metres then turn right towards Troyes – St Julien les Villas. Continue on the by-pass for 1.9kms. At the 1st roundabout. Continue straight ahead towards St Julien. At the 2nd roundabout, follow signs for Dijon. At the 3rd roundabout follow the signs for A5-Dijon. At the traffic lights, turn left towards Dijon. At the 4th traffic light is Centre Marks Avenue.
By train from the centre – There is a bus serving both centres at the SNCF Railway station in Troyes. The bus station is 80 metres away in Bld. Carnot in front of the Tourist Office.
For the centres located at Pont Ste Marie: (Mc Arthur Glen and Marques City); take line 1 from the Carnot/Gare stop. Direct access until Pont Ste Marie. Get off at stop "Magasins".
For the centres located at Saint Julien les Villas: (Marks Avenue, Club of the Marks); Take Line 9 (Gare/Blossires). Get off at "prfecture", and take Line 2 to St Julien/Brviandes. Get off at stop "Magasins of l'Avenue".
We liked the Htel La Maison de Rhodes **** in the centre of the old town. An old building well restored, the rooms and suites are huge and well appointed. Within close walking distance of the beautifully restored old town, we found dozens of restaurants within a few minutes walk (there is no restaurant in the hotel).
If you are coming all this way to visit the Factory shopping centres located in and around Troyes, why not make a fun break of it all and stay somewhere decent like the Hotel La Maison de Rhodes?
Htel La Maison de Rhodes ****, 18, rue Linard Gonthier. 10000 Troyes. Tel: 0033 325 43 11 11.
The stunning courtyard of the Hotel La Maison de Rhodes makes this hotel a worthwhile romatic break
The breakfast room – fresh orange juice is served with newly made croissents. Breakfast can also be taken in your room.
The courtyard in the day – tea or coffee (or champagne) can be enjoyed here – ideal after a days shopping.
Metz is ideal if you have or are, passing through Luxembourg. Although not as organised as other factory shopping centres, there is a good range of shops here. It is popular with shoppers' from Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. It is also growing – when we there in March 2012 there was a lot of building work going on.
Much quieter than other centres and with parking a plenty, it's a worthwhile place to stop.
There is a Centre L'Usine Cote d'Opale here as well.
Marque Avenue, Z.I. de Talange Hauconcourt 57525 Talange. Tel: 0033 387 17 35 50.
We also liked;
Croc Affairs, amazing value discounted items, worth browsing through. Food, household goods and even wines at discounted prices.
Homnet, a store with cleaning and household items, perfumes, soaps etc.
Avoid the MIster Bed hotel in Metz. It's an old Formule 1, no showers in the room, not a bit like the other Mister Beds we have stayed in which we thought good value.
Heschung Factory Store, Route de Saverne. 67490 Dettwiller. Tel: 0033 388 71 99 96. www.heschung-boutique.fr
Bragard, Place du Tilleul. 88400 Grardmer. Tel: 0033 329 63 45 20.
Le Jacquard Franais, 35 rue Charles de Gaulle. 88400 Grardmer. Tel: 00329 60 82 50.
Linvosges, 232, Route dEpinal. 88400 Grardmer. Tel: 0033 329 60 05 39.
Ribeauvill (Alsatian table linen)
Factory Store Beauville, 19 route de Saint Marie aux Mines. 68150 Ribeauvill. Tel: 0033 389 73 74 74.
Roppenheim. A new centre due to open in Autumn 2011, the Style Outlets will contain roughly a hundred well-known services and brand outlet stores open all year round, with medium to up-market brands offering products from their previous collections at prices at least 30% lower than those available through traditional retail channels. Many French national and international brands have already expressed interest in setting up stores in this innovative project.
The only one of its kind, Roppenheim The Style Outlets is located 40 km north of Strasbourg. It will be designed as a traditional Alsatian village occupying a sales area of more than 23,000 m with around 1,700 parking spaces. It will be easily accessible from the A35 motorway in France and the A5 in Germany. The centre will be completed with a 40,000 m landscaped area including a lake, a brasserie and cafs.
Saint Avold (Continental Quilts)
Dodo Factory store, 25 rue Foch. 57500 Saint Avold. Tel: 0033 387 91 16 16. www.dodo.fr
Saint Louis les Bitche (Glass)
Saint Louis Factory store, Cristallerie de Saint Louis, Rue Goetlosquel. 57620 Saint Louis les Bitche. Tel: 0033 387 06 40 04.
Aussedat Rey, 139 route Wantzenau. 67015 Strasbourg. Tel: 0033 388 31 00 31.
The Goldsmith Deetjen, 9, rue Poincar. 67304 Schiltigheim. cedex. Tel: 0033 388 62 26 46.
Turckheim (cooking utensils)
Staub Factory Store, 2 rue Saint Gilles. 68230 Turckheim. Tel: 0033 389 27 77 71.
Other Factory shopping centres nearby (in Germany);
Zweibrucken, Germany (about 100km north of Strasbourg). www.thestyleoutlets.de
Metzingen (about 140km from Strasbourg). www.metzingen.de
Paris Metro map. www.ratp.info/orienter/cv/carteparis.php
– Quai des Marques. www.quaidesmarques.com
Fraconville. Quai des Marques. 395, avenue du General Leclerc. 95130. Fraconville. Close by A15 autoroute. Tel: 0033 1 44 54 84 00. Open: Monday to Saturday.
lle-Saint-Denis – Quai des Marques Saint-Denis. 9, Quai du Chatelier. 93540. lle-Saint-Denis. Tel: 0033 1 48 09 04 05.
– Usines Centres in Paris.
1) Roissy. Usines Center Roissy. 134, avenue de la plaine. Paris Nord 2 – BP 70164. 95952. Roissy CDG. Tel: 0033 1 48 63 20 72. www.usinescenter.biz (Departement Val d'Oise).
2) Villacoublay. Usines Center Villacoublay, Route Andre Citroen, 78140 Velizy Villacoublay. Tel: 0033 1 39 46 45 00. Open: seven days a week. Directions: from the A6 autoroute. Take the A86 direction Versailles. Exit Petit-Clamart, then direction Z.A. Villacoublay. www.usinescenter.com
– La Valle Village, 3 Cours de la Garonne. 77700 Serris (Marne Vally). Tel: 0033 1 60 42 35 00.
Directions: By car: A4 motorway, exit 12.1 from Paris (14 from Reims) then follow "Centre Commercial/Entre A" signs. By train: Express Subway RER A at "Val d'Europe" station, or Thalys/TGV/Eurostar at "Marne-la-Valle-Chessy-Parc Disneyland" station. By shuttle: from RER Express Subway station (simply call 0033 1 60 42 35 01), or from Paris, Cityrama (upon reservation on 0033 1 44 55 60 00).
Cityrama shuttle; 3 times a week, a Cityrama shuttle links the heart of Paris to La Valle Village. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays leaving the Cityrama agency, place des Pyramides, at 10.15am and returning at approximately 4.00pm. Fares: 15 £ round trip – adult, 10 £ round trip children, ages 3 to 12 (Free for children under 3). Reservation required up to 5.00pm the day before departure, at hotels and Cityrama agencies 0033 1 44 55 60 00.
From Disney's Hotels; La Valle Village is linked to the Disney hotels by the dedicated La Valle shuttle bus. Information is available from the concierge at each hotel.
They also do a shoppers' package which costs 83 euro. Itinerary; 09.30 Departure in Shopping Express from the Cityrama agency in Paris. 10.15 Arrival at La Valle Village's Welcome Center where you will get the lunch voucher, the VIP card and the gift voucher. Shopping at La Valle Village with lunch break at Natalie's Caf.14.30 Departure in Shopping Express from La Valle Village. 15.15 Arrival at the Cityrama agency in Paris. Price 83 euro per person including: a roundtrip transfer in Shopping Express, a two-course lunch at Natalie's Caf, a VIP card entitling to 10% further reduction in 6 boutiques of your choice, a 50 euro gift voucher valid at La Valle Village. To book click here
Les Chocolat de Beussent, 66, Route de Desvres, Beussent. 62170. Tel: 0033 321 86 17 62. www.choco-france.com
– Guy Degrenne. www.guydegrenne.fr
– Kitchen Factory. Eight shops in France (Romans, Troyes and Calais). www.kitchenfactory.fr
– Mephisto Shoes. A popular French brand with a loyal following. www.mephisto.com
– Le Creuset Factory Outlet, 880, rue Olivier Deguise, Fresnoy-Le-Grand (near St. Quentin). 02230 France. Tel: 0033 323 06 22 45. About an hours drive from Amiens. Le Creuset has been making its cast iron pans here since 1925. Apparently each one is handcast from a single mould that's destroyed afterwards. Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 9.30am to 12.30pm and 2.00pm to 6.45pm. Drive time from Calais; two hours.
The Le Creuset factory outlet sells top quality enamelled cast-iron kitchen items at a 35-40% discount on the normal retail price.
Anneyron – Sportswear
– Lafuma. rue Lafuma – 26140 Anneyron. www.lafuma.com
Bayel, near Bar-sur-Aube in the Aube department – handmade crystal
1) Aube Crystal, Bayel. Call 0033 3 25 92 03 79
2) Cristalleries Royales de Champagne, B.p. 1 – La Voix Basse, 10310 Bayel. Call 0033 325 92 37 60. www.aube-champagne.com
Besancon – Luggage
Delsey Factory Store. 81 rue Vesoul. 25000 Besancon. Tel. 03 81 47 18 87. www.delsey.com
– Maille Dijon Mustard shop, 32, rue de la Libert. 21000 Dijon. Tel: 0033 380 30 41 02. Open Monday to Saturdayfrom 9.00am to 7.00pm. www.maille.com
Grasse – Perfume
Fragonard Perfumery, 20, boulevard Fragonard. BP 22060. 06130 GRASSE. Tel: 0033 493 36 44 65. www.fragonard.com
Galimard Perfumery, 3, route de Cannes. 06131 GRASSE. Tel: 0033 493 09 20 00. www.galimard.com
Landersheim – Sportswear
Addidas. 1 route Saessolsheim. 67700 Landersheim. Tel. 03 88 87 88 97.
Limousin – China
In the Limousin capital city of Limoges alone, there are six factory stores which sell the china that has been famous for centuries. Here are four of them:
1) Magasin d'usine Bernardaud. 30, rue Altert-Thomas. 87000 Limoges. Tel: 0033 5 55 77 39 66. www.bernardaud.fr
2) – Ancienne manufacture royale de Limoges. 7, place des Horteils. 87700 Aixe-sur-Vienne. Tel: 0033 5 55 70 44 82.
3) Le Pavillon de la porcelaine – Muse Haviland. ZI de Magr-route de Toulouse. 87000 Limoges. Tel: 0033 5 55 30 21 86.
4) Royal Limoges, 8, rue Donzelot 87000 Limoges. Tel: 0033 555 33 27 30. www.royal-limoges.fr
Lorraine – Crystal
Here are just a few of the fine crystal shops of Lorraine – you'll find more listed in the booklet "La Route du Cristal en Lorraine."
1) Magasin d'usine de Daum. 17, rue des Cristalleries. 5400. Nancy. Tel: 0033 383 32 14 55.
2) Compagnie Franaise du cristal. 54112. Vannes-le-Chtel. Tel: 0033 385 25 41 01.
3) Cristallerie de Hartzwiller. Av. de la Valle. 57870. Hartzwiller. Tel: 0033 387 25 10 55.
4) St-Louis. rue Goetlosquel. 57620. Saint-Louis-les-Bitche. Tel: 0033 387 06 40 04.
Lyon – Silk
Atelier de Soierie (Silk Trade Workshop) in rue Romarin, a sort of factory/shop owned by the Brochier company a supplier for major designers in Paris where one can buy unique items at exceptional prices (discarded cuttings). 33, rue Romarin-69001 LYON (a few metres from the place des Terreaux, near Hotel de Ville) Tel: 0033 472 07 97 83. www.atelierdesoierie.com
Nmes – Underwear
– Cacharel Factory Outlet, 1898 avenue du Marechal Juin. F-30000 Nmes.
Cacharel Stock, 114 rue d'Alsia. F-75014 Paris. Tel: 0033 1 45 42 53 04. www.cacharel.fr
Luxury shoes from Romans have earned a reputation all over the world. The Romans tourist office publishes a guide to the discount shops located near the factory shops and also offers "Mode and Culture" weekend tours which include accommodation, meals, museum visits and shopping expeditions. The Factory Shopping Centre was opened after the collapse of the old shoe making factories here to help mitigate the losses in employment. Most are situated in the Cote des Cordeliers.
Sarrebourg – Mephisto shoes
– Mephisto Shoes. Route Sarreguemines. 57400 Sarrebourg. Tel. 03 87 23 30 00. A popular French brand with a loyal following. www.mephisto.com
Vire – Crockery
– Guy Degrenne. Avenue de Bischwiller. 14500 Vire. www.guydegrenne.fr
– La Bosse Des Marques, chain with centres mostly in western and southern France. www.labossedesmarques.fr
Saladerie, Salon de Th. 10, Place Charles de Gaulle. 26100 Romans. Tel: 0033 475 72 50 08. Great range of salads and freshly cooked food.
– Citbus, the local bus service. www.citebus.com
Watch out! There is a lady selling cheese in the market ripping people off. Buy a piece of cheese and find yourself 55 euro lighter. Watch out for "free gifts" put in the bag before weighing. These are usually goats cheese (cheap). The rate per 100 grams is displayed but is shockingly high – 10 x that in the supermarkets. She will helpfully offer to accept less. Stand your ground. Even if a trader has cut the cheese or taken some money, refuse to complete the sale and threaten to call the police. In my case, it was my 93 year old mother in law being taken for a ride before I turned up.
Magasin d'usine – Accessoire Diffusion. 23 cte des Cordeliers, 26100 Romans-Sur-Isre. Tel: 0033 475 05 34 07.
Magasin d'usine – Alain Manoukian. 34 avenue Flix Faure, 26100 Romans-Sur-Isre. Tel: 0033 475 02 79 20.
Magasin d'usine – L'Atelier Des Marques. 17 Place du 75e RI, 26100 Romans-Sur-Isre. Tel: 0033 475 05 18 38.
Magasin d'usine – Charles Jourdan. Galerie Fan'Halles – Cte des Cordeliers. 26100 Romans. Tel: 0033 475 02 32 36.
Magasin d'usine – Espace, Cte des Cordeliers. 26100 Romans-Sur-Isre Tel: 0033 475 02 87 97.
Magasin d'usine – Robert Clergerie. Rue Pierre Curie. 26100 Romans. Tel: 0033 475 05 59 65.
Magasin d'usine – Stphane Klian. 11, place Charles de Gaulle. 26100 Romans. Tel: 0033 475 05 23 26.
Contact the Romans tourist office at:
Office du Tourisme. 17, place jean Jaures BP 13. 26100. Romans. Drmes. Tel: 0033 4 75 02 28 72.
Marques Avenue – Romans. Tel: 0033 144 54 84 00. Directions: 60 Avenue Gambetta. 26100. Romans-Sur-Isere. www.marquesavenue.com
October 2007 – I made a note when visiting the factory shopping centre in Romans, where I saw some Mephisto shoes. A French brand, they are a bit pricey but last for years and are very comfortable. At one of the shops they cost 155 euro, about £116 (exchange rate 1.33 euro to £1.00). The price in the United Kingdom is £149, a saving of 22%.
– Mephisto Shoes. A popular French brand with a loyal following. www.mephisto.com
If making long journey, ring before going to check on opening times and availability of stock.
Try before you buy as size labels can be misleading (the reason why they are being discounted for example). Write down size information as many items are from other countries.
Check stitching and linings.
Check every aisle in the shop and be prepared to rummage.
Ask, the shop may well have something you are after at the back.
If you like something buy it – don't hesitate. It may not be there, or replaceable when you return.
Haggle, especially near the end of a sale. Factory shops are there to clear stock and use the sales to do just that.
Check web sites – special "sale days" often give great value (i.e. buy one get the second at 20% off, buy two get the third item free etc.).
Go to the information centre if there is one and ask what shops have offers on.
China – Limousin (Bernardaud, Royale)
Clothes – Calais, Roubaix (Lille), Metz, Paris, Troyes.
Chocolate – Eupen, Ostende in Belgium, Beussent near Boulogne, France. www.choco-france.com
More About Chocolate in France and Belgium
Cookware – Fresnoy-Le-Grand (Le Creuset), Turckheim (cooking utensils).
Household linen, Textiles – Cambrai (Tradilinge), Grardmer (Bragard), Lyon (silk), Ribeauvill (Alsatian table linen), Saint Avold (Dodo – Continental Quilts).
Home decoration – Troyes (Marques Avenue).
Perfume – Grasse (Fragonard and Galimard).
Picnic, patio, conservatory and poolside goods – Aire-sur-la-Lys (Crations Alpac).
Shoes – Dettwiller, Romans, Sarrebourg (Mephisto).
Underwear – Le Bourget, 2 rue F. Harteloup. 02230. Fresnoy-le-Grand. Tel: 0033 323 09 33 00.
Cambrai (Tradilange). www.villedecambrai.com
Grasse (perfume). www.grasse.fr
Lyon (silk). www.lyon-france.com
Messancy, Belgium. www.messancy.be
Romans sur Isere. www.ville-romans.com
Roubaix (Lille). www.roubaixtourisme.com
Troyes. 16, boulevard Carnot – BP 4082 – 10014 TROYES Cedex. www.tourisme-troyes.com
Turckheim (Cooking utensils). www.turckheim.fr