This Cape Town hotspot’s a whole different sort of animal
Factory Shops in Cape Town
Bargain outlets that won’t break the bank
Bargain outlets that won’t break the bank
South Africa – and even the style-driven city of Cape Town – might still be considered a step behind the golden high streets of Europe when it comes to shopping, but one thing’s for sure: the thrifty Mother City definitely knows how to do discounts. With a penny pincher’s paradise-worth of factory shops and outlets that sell branded fashion, food and furniture directly to the public for a song, there’s almost never any need to pay full price – at least not for those in the know. And with items often identical to those promoted in major retailers, these bargain hotspots are a veritable Disneyland for shoppers who are a fan of designer makes but not their massive mark-ups.
So, to keep you informed about these hidden, backstreet gems that drop prices but not standards, we’ve compiled an overview of a few of Cape Town’s top bargain outlets. Of course, with such a plethora populating the city’s industrial spaces, it is, alas, almost impossible to include them all. What appears here, then, is simply a varied cross-section of the rich factory shop landscape to make sure you strike deals on a diverse range of goods. Now you can make your desired buys while still keeping the bank balance intact.
From its inconspicuous perch on Cape Town’s fashion-centric Kloof Street, Labels4Less sells high-end brands for between 40% and 60% less than the original price. The tidy, semi-private space boasts racks of discounted Miss Sixty, Energie, Lee Cooper and Diesel jeans, Superdry and Armani T-shirts, Replay swimwear, Café Coton menswear and more. And because owner Francis Massa is adamant that rejects, knock-offs and flawed goods don’t get passed the front door, bargain hunters can rest assured that the stylish threads on offer are 100% authentic and up to standard. The Frenchman meticulously sources his clothing from Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and France, giving shoppers a rare opportunity to score the type of fashion that’s normally only available overseas. What’s more, the clean, contemporary store is a refreshing departure from the dingy bargain basements generally associated with such killer steals. And finally, those who can’t make it to the physical shopfront in Gardens can check out the collection at the Labels4Less online shop (Labels4Less.co.za).
Opening times: Monday – Friday: 9am – 6pm; Saturday: 9am – 1pm
103 Kloof Street | Cnr Kloof and Weltevreden streets | Gardens | Cape Town | +27 (0) 80 044 4723 (toll free)
This full-scale, mega factory shopping complex, conveniently located in both Kenilworth and Kuilsrivier, is the mecca of all bargain outlets, the ultimate wonderland for the wallet-wary. With over 150 factory shops and branded outlet stores geared at guaranteeing major savings, the centre satisfies all possible customer needs, providing anything from fashion, footwear and sports accessories to homeware, gifts and fresh food. Although there are many smaller stores, big brands that have taken up residence here, offering their sought-after goods at drastically marked-down prices, include Guess, Levis, Nike, Canterbury, Puma, Triumph International, Cape Union Mart, Musica, Fruit and Veg City, Environ, Biggie Best, Mr Price, New Balance and Crocs Shoes (see a full directory of Access Park stores). And although buyers can expect to find mainly last season’s stock, the complex has a strict no-damaged-goods policy, so all items sold are in tip-top condition and merely more affordable. If there’s one spot to stop to buy quality designer wares direct, this is it.
Opening times: Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm; Saturday: 9am – 3pm; Sunday: 10am – 2pm
81 Chichester Road | Kenilworth | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 683 5885; 1 Van Riebeeck Road | Kuilsrivier | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 903 6523
Note: Factory outlets differ slightly between Access Park in Kenilworth and Access City in Kuilsrivier, so be sure to contact the respective branches to confirm which stores are present at each.
Playtex Factory Shop
Based in the industrial suburb of Salt River, this bargain hotspot brings covetable items from favourite ladies’ lingerie brands Playtex, Wonderbra and Girls Inc; men’s underwear label Bear; and an extensive range of socks to eager customers at significantly reduced prices (roughly 50% off in most cases). And the lowered costs don’t reflect any compromise in quality; rather than being retail rejects, all products are strictly factory surplus – items that have not sold out in the specified three-month period. So, patrons can expect to purchase the same standard comfortable everyday basics and supportive, sensual intimates that they would find hanging on the aisles of key large-scale stockists, like Truworths, Edgars, Foschini and Stuttafords.
Opening times: Monday – Thursday: 8:30am – 4pm; Friday: 8:30am – 2pm; Saturday: 8:30am – 1pm
Shop 13 | Brickfield Park | 18 Brickfield Road | Salt River | +27 (0) 21 447 4930
Shoe HQ Factory Shop
A fashion-forward bargain hunter’s utopia, this Salt River-based factory shop offers customers the chance to buy the same fine footwear found at standard Shoe HQ stores and industry retailers; only, prices are far friendlier (for instance, items that typically sell for R400 in regular shops go for roughly R150 here). With 95% of the products identical to the range stocked in main outlets, this centre for the thrifty offers a vast assortment of affordable ladies’ shoes in multiple styles – glamorous stilettos, chunky heels, wedge platforms, ankle or knee-high boots, gladiators, thongs, moccasins and basic sandals, for instance – as well as a smaller selection of men’s and kiddies’ footwear. Although all these items found their way into the factory store because they failed to pass buyers’ scrupulous quality control checks, flaws are generally so insignificant (a stitch missing here, a removable mark there) that they usually go entirely unnoticed – a fact that makes the shoes’ slashed prices nothing less than a steal.
Opening times: Monday – Friday: 8:30am – 5:30pm; Saturday: 8:30am – 2pm (open first and last Sunday of every month from 10am to 2pm)
Cnr Durham Avenue and Victoria Road | Salt River |Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 447 8310
Seeking branded footwear that won’t break the bank? Here are a few additional factory stores that specialise in cost-price shoes or related wear:
- Jordan Footwear Factory Outlet – Somerset West, Elsies River, Tokai, Milnerton, Bellville, Goodwood and Woodstock (Head Office: +27 (0) 21 590 7000)
- Zoom – Paarden Eiland and Access Park (+27 (0) 21 510 4707 and +27 (0) 21 671 0849 respectively)
- Green Cross Factory Shop – Epping 1 (+27 (0) 21 507 9797)
- Falke Socks and Hosiery – Bellville South ( +27 (0) 951 2137)
Former suppliers of chief retailers like Woolworths, Spar and Pick n Pay, this Cape Town-based brand is a prime producer of high quality frozen foods. Their six factory shops, which are spread throughout the Mother City, sell a broad array of iced products – including chicken schnitzels, beef burgers, cannelloni, spare ribs, hake strips, pizza, pies, frozen vegetables, malva pudding, brandy tarts and waffles – at cost price without the large markup often added by conglomerates. In essence, they are the key spot to stop for affordable, quick convenience foods. While their flagship Northern Suburbs outlet is in Durbanville, stores can also be found in Bellville, Somerset West, Ottery, Tokai, Table View, and, as of August 2012, Paarl.
Opening times: Monday – Friday:9am – 5:30pm; Saturday: 9am – 3pm (Durbanville shop)
17 Bella Rosa Street | Rosenpark Business Centre | Durbanville |+27 (0)21 914 5209
Woolworths Factory Shops
Although not officially known as the Woolworths factory shops, Nibbly Bits in Paarl and Durbanville and The Compass Bakery in Kommetjie are key suppliers of this popular retail chain’s tasty baked goods.Tthese outlets, which vend items at almost half their normal cost, are thus ideal for those who are a fan of Woolies’ unique, high-quality, ethically-produced treats, but not quite so fond of their hiked-up price tags. While Nibbly Bits is the place to visit for those seeking the brand’s handmade rusks, cookies, biscotti and small snacks – their bran and muesli rusks and brownie bites are favourites – The Compass Bakery stocks Woolworths’ mouth-watering millionaire’s shortbread, crunchies, muffins, malva pudding, Swiss rolls and cupcakes. All items at these discount shops are just overflow from the factory and are identical to those found in-store – this does mean, however, that treats are subject to availability; thus, what’s on the shelves differs from day to day, so it’s always something of a lucky draw. The Compass Bakery factory shop also runs regular buy-one-get-one-free specials on items that have reached their sell-by date, and offers pensioners a 10% discount on already inexpensive goods every Tuesday and Thursday.
Opening times: Nibbly Bits Paarl: Monday – Friday: 8:30am - 5pm; Saturday: 8am – 12pm; Nibbly Bits Durbanville: Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm; Saturday: 9am – 2:30pm; The Compass Bakery: Monday – Thursday: 8am – 5:30pm; Friday: 8am – 5pm; Saturday: 8am – 3pm; Sunday: 9am – 12:30pm (At month end the shop has earlier closing times for stock taking).
Locations: Nibbly Bits: Shop 43|Main Road |Southern Paarl | + 27 (0)21 863 0828; 5 Pasita Street |Pasita Park | Rosenpark | Durbanville | +27 (0)21 914 78 58
The Compass Bakery: Heron Park |Kommetjie Road | Kommetjie | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 783 4102
Bargain Books Factory Shop
While the Bargain Books chain stores have already established themselves as the go-to spots for discounted reading material, the company’s only factory shop in Diep River promises a wide array of paper- and hardbacks at even lower prices. The biggest bookstore in South Africa (it boasts an area larger than a supermarket), the outlet claims a vast selection of fiction and non-fiction in almost every imaginable category, from local bestsellers and biographies to romance and children’s narratives, and even stocks a few recent releases. Although the immense, industrial shop is mainly orientated towards supplying disadvantaged schools and libraries and corporates looking to help boost the country’s literacy level in bulk, they’re equally willing to welcome any member of the public that’s simply seeking a good, inexpensive read.
Opening times: Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm; Saturday and public holidays: 9am – 2pm
89 De Waal Road | Diep River | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 706 1461
The Candle Factory Shop
With branches in Cape Town’s Maitland, Retreat and Brackenfell, this factory outlet and wholesaler is a party planner’s paradise. In addition to a kaleidoscope of colourful candles that come in all shapes and forms (ball, pillar, floating, citronella and tea-light, to name a few), the store also trades in candleholders and related accessories – such as lanterns, lighters, snuffers, scent diffusers and fairy lights. Strangely enough, they also stock printed serviettes in an assortment of designs ideal for any occasion. As the store caters largely to the event organising industry, the staff are adept at offering customers helpful advice for arranging effective table settings and selecting special products suited to the function at hand. While prices are already competitive compared to retailers, they also offer discounts for items bought in bulk.
Opening times: Monday – Friday: 8:30am – 5pm; Saturday: 8:30am – 2pm
79 8th Avenue | Maitland | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 593 6307; 6 Honeywell Road | Retreat | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 701 2101; Unit 3 | Stabilid Park Building |cnr Frans Conradie and Kenwil Drive| Brackenfell | +27 (0) 21 981 0528
Lifson Linen Factory Shop
Promising a solid night’s sleep without threatening the finances, this leading linen brand’s Woodstock factory shop – which opened in 2010 due to popular demand – cuts their normal costs by cutting out the middle man and selling their luxurious bedding directly to the public. Lifson products available here include goose down duvets, eco-comfort pillows, scatter cushion inners, Egyptian cotton sheets and embroidered covers from their chief brands Royal Comfort, Fine Fibre and MicroMax. All items are original and freshly manufactured so shoppers can rest assured that they’re receiving the same fine Lifson quality that interior decorators and the retail and hospitality industries rely on.
Opening times: Monday – Thursday: 8:30am – 3:45pm; Friday: 8:30am – 2:30pm (also open every first and last Saturday of the month)
5 Ravenscraig Mews | 8 Ravenscraig Road | Woodstock | Cape Town | +27 (0) 448 5703
For bed linen that’s cheap in cost but not quality also visit:
- Duvet & Pillow Factory Shop – Salt River (+27 (0) 21 447 3558)
Rug Warehouse/ Waltex Factory Shop
A key player in the local floor covering industry, this large Cape-based depot sells its quality carpets through leading homeware stores like Sheet Street and Mr Price Home, as well as large-scale retail outlets like Pick n Pay. At their factory shops in Brackenfell and Parow, the public can now access their broad assortment of products directly for negotiated bargain prices. Aisles are overflowing withbedroom and lounge rugs, doormats, runners, kitchen mats, matching bathroom sets and even wall-to-wall carpets. While some of this stock has been turned away at the door of their main vendors due to faults (such as patterns being slightly misplaced), such defects are generally minor, and the warehouses do also sell newly manufactured items that are in perfect condition. With value for money as an important focus, Waltex is a smart home furnishings stop for the budget-savvy.
Opening times: Monday – Friday: 9am – 5:30pm; Saturday and Sunday: 9am – 1:30pm (Brackenfell); Monday – Thursday: 8am – 5pm; Friday: 8am – 3pm; Saturday and Sunday: 8am – 1pm
Old Paarl Road | Brackenfell | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 982 3925; 121 Rissik Street | Beaconvale | Parow Valley | +27 (0) 21 931 6068
Helderberg International Importers
Though perhaps not your traditional factory store, this wholesale and retail outlet, which distributes imported furniture across the country, has a scratch and dent division that sells slightly spoilt items and appliances to the public at seriously slashed prices. Although some damages are significant, some simply entail minor scratches; and so, shopping here is a good way to save substantially on fully-functioning, well-finished items like lounge suites , coffee tables, computer desks, sleeper couches, televisions, fridges, dishwashers and large and small kitchen appliances from premium domestic brands, such as AEG, LG and Smeg. As stock and prices change on a frequent basis, customers are encouraged to visit regularly and browse around to bag the best bargain.
Opening times: Monday – Friday: 8am – 5pm; Saturday: 9am – 2pm; Sunday: 10am – 2pm
22 Dacres Avenue |Epping 2 | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 534 5211
Anatomic Factory Outlet
Manufacturers of premium club, team and sportswear, Anatomic garments and gear are typically found in niche Western Cape sports stores like Adventure Cycles and Weskus Sports. While the brand now also produces a range of technical running attire, rugby and soccer apparel, and sun-protective swimwear, their factory outlet in Cape Town’s Paarden Eiland deals exclusively in their original speciality: comfortable, quality cycling clothing. This aerodynamic apparel, which includes men’s, ladies’ and children’s cycling shorts, branded shirts, raincoats, windstoppers, protective gear, thermal socks and winter gloves, is all new stock that has simply bypassed retailers’ hands and is sold straight from the factory doors to local biking enthusiasts.
Opening times: Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm; Saturday: 9am – 1pm
Unit 1 | Northgate Estate | Section Street | Paarden Eiland | +27 (0) 21 510 8400
- Don’t forget that Canterbury, Cape Union Mart, Adidas, Puma, Nike and Reebok can all be found at Access Park in Kenilworth or Access City in Kuilsrivier for all other sportswear requirements.
Keen on bagging bargains in a more leisurely environment? Have a glance at our selection of top markets in Cape Town’s City Bowl.