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Black Friday outlet shopping in city? You bet!
2014-11-27
By He Liyao

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving Day in the USA and falls on the Friday after the fourth Thursday in November. For millions of people, Black Friday, which is today this year, is the time to do some Christmas shopping - before the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers are even gone.

The term “Black Friday” was coined in the 1960s to mark the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season. “Black” refers to stores moving from the “red” to the “black,” and dates to when accounting records were kept by hand. Red ink indicated a loss, and black a profit. Ever since the start of the modern Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been known as the unofficial start to a bustling holiday shopping season.

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As retailers began to realize they could draw big crowds by discounting prices, Black Friday became the day to shop, even better than those last-minute Christmas sales. A Black Friday shopping atmosphere has also been created in Shanghai when many foreign brands here launch reduction promotions.

There are numerous door buster deals and loss leaders, where to entice shoppers, a store will price some items so low that it won’t make a profit.

Factory outlets in Shanghai offer clothes that are either perfectly great or greatly imperfect, but in both cases ridiculously inexpensive. They are the places to go to see new fashion items, sample one off garments and the latest colors — and the best choice for bargain-hunters on Black Friday.

Before you start your Black Friday shopping spree in factory outlets in Shanghai, you’d better make some preparations. Different from shopping malls and department stores that cater to the wandering shoppers, some things may be missing from a factory outlet shopping experience. Before visiting the shops, you need some outlets shopping tips.

Six tips for outlets shopping

• Select clothes wisely

Many excellent offerings in outlets are from past seasons, not suitable to be displayed with current season offerings, so they are sold in outlets. It takes a while to train your eye to search for the right one among a mixed bag of good and bad. Clothes in basic classic styles from top-tier international stores could be a good choice since they guarantee you a timeless look with international labels but at much lower prices.

• Collect basic venue information

Investigate first and figure out the general store distribution inside the outlets before you hit the shopping mall. After knowing the overview of the outlets well,

you can make a detailed shopping plan without wasting time. Take one of the most successful outlets shopping centers— Bailian Outlets Plaza in Qingpu District — for example. It is divided into three sections with a total of 300 stores.

Section A, with around 40 stores, sells mainly discounted products from Armani, Mondi and BMW Lifestyle. Section B contains more than 150 sellers of world-famous sports and leisure brands, as well as famous domestic brands. It includes Adidas, Lacoste, Nike and Reebok. Sections A and B cover more than 50,000 square meters. Section C is the catering zone, serving Chinese and Western food and providing a children’s playground. Get familiar with the store layouts before, so as to save your shopping time and energy.

• Food and drink

Unlike Bailian Outlets Plaza, which has a catering zone, some factory outlets are in rural areas where there are few restaurants or cafes. Bringing your own food and drink with you is a good idea and gives you an added bonus — more time to shop!

• Dress simply

There are fewer dressing rooms in factory outlets than in regular malls, and some have no dressing rooms at all. Dressing simply will help you try on any clothes you like more easily.

• Transportation

Get yourself the most convenient and economic transportation routes to the outlets shopping center. It would be wise to figure out the traffic costs and make an affordable transportation plan. Take public transport, grab a taxi with several companions to share expenses or drive your own car if parking at the outlets is free. The parking lot is often too crowed to get in, especially on a shopping holiday,so it’s best to arrive before 10am, before others swarm in. For these who plan to spend Black Friday in Bailian Outlets Plaza for example, here is a transportation guide:

Drive: Take A9 Expressway, exit at Zhaoxiang,turn right, and drive 100 meters.

Public transport: Take bus Shanghai-Qingpu Line, Shanghai-Zhujiajiao Line or Jiading-Songjiang Line, and get off at Fangjiayao Stop.

• Cash

Some factory outlets, especially the community-type ones, don’t accept credit cards. Take cash. Bearing these outlets shopping tips in mind, you need an ultimate guide to outlets in Shanghai for your Black Friday shopping spree. Please read our quick guide to Shanghai’s outlets malls.

A quick guide to Shanghai's outlets malls

No.1 Bailian Outlets Plaza

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It is opened in 2006 and has more than 300 stores of major domestic and international brands. The plaza is 40 minutes’ drive from downtown People’s Square and has a parking lot for 2,800 cars. World-famous fashion labels such as Armani, Zegna, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Polo, Coach, BMW Lifestyle and others can all be found here. It is also decked out with Chinese and Western restaurants and a children’s playground.

No.2 Mega Mills

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Shoppers at Mega Mills can find 175 of the world’s top brands from Gucci to Versace, Balmain, Pierre Balmain, Roberto Cavalli, Michael Kors, MCM, Dsquared2, Furla, Ted Baker, Anna Sui and Shanghai Tang. Some brands offer extraordinary savings of up to 90 percent off. People of all ages can find something they want, such as outdoor goods, sportswear, casual wear, shoes, handbags, leather goods, jewelry, accessories and toys.

No.3 Foxcity

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Foxcity, a world outlet chain group, 
covering around 15,000 square meters, it offers a wide selection on world famous brands, notably mid-range brands. Discounts range from 50 to 70 percent. Shoppers get free parking with their VIP cards or consumption receipts in the market. Public transport is recommended because of the downtown location.

No.4 Shanghai Fashion Center

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The center, which covers an area of 140,000 square meters, provides six types of services. These include a Premium Outlets area for shopping; a Food and Entertainment area for eating and leisure; and a Studio Office area for working. 

Among well-known brands with outlets in Premium Outlets are Nike, Adidas, JoJo, Cross, Esprit, Levi's, Gap and Roxy. Stores often run special discount promotions. Visitors can take a stroll on a riverside plank road overlooking the Huangpu River.

No.5 Meilanhu Outlets

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It is smaller than the one in Qingpu District but has about 70 fashion brands including Prada, Versace and Gucci. Built in 2009, it has 10,700 square meters of buildings in Nordic architectural style. The place is also easily accessible as it is close to the Meilanhu Station of Metro Line 7.

No.6 Factory Outlets

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Factory Outlets, which follows the concept of “selling products at factory prices to customers,” came to Shanghai in 2006 and opened its first store in Baoshan District selling products of popular domestic and international brands at discount prices. As a community-focused shopping center, Factory Outlets sells designer clothes, shoes, handbags and other lifestyle products.

No.7 FoxTown

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Switzerland-based FoxTown Factory Stores, a discount store chain, opened its outlet in Songjiang District in 2006. There are more than 20 stores selling brands including Nike, Adidas and GEOX. Free shuttle buses give convenience to the customers. You will find the outstanding quality, friendly service and unique shopping experience that you can find in the most exclusive stores — but at much lower prices in FoxTown.

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