Designer brand bargains

Renowned brands at Johor Premium Outlets

I thought I was early on a weekday visit to the newly opened Johor Premium Outlets but from the number of cars in the carpark, many obviously came earlier. 

Since the much anticipated Johor Premium Outlets, the first Premium Outlet Center in South East Asia, opened its doors on 2 December 2011, it has been attracting shoppers from around the country and from across the Causeway.  Without a moment’s hesitation, I walk into a crowd of shoppers and see many families with kids comfortably ensconced in baby strollers and some with their elderly transported on wheelchairs.  

Many shoppers are already holding bags with designer brand names emblazoned on them and I’m determined to check out what’s available and so irresistible. 

With the festive season just around the corner, there is every reason to shop and the good value prices must be very persuasive for shoppers to pick from the wide range of brands all in one place.  I’m partial to occasional shopping sprees and as I walk down the two-level street mall, I steel myself to the tempting bargains that are calling out to me at every turn.

The street mall
offers two-levels of exciting shopping

Exciting Experience

Whoever coined the phrase “retail therapy” knows what she’s talking about because it’s certainly therapeutic to browse around to get the best buys.  As this is my first visit, I find my way to the Customer Service and Information Centre to grab a map for an overview of the layout so that I can zero-in on my favourite brands’ outlets.  My strategy is to start from the Low Street and work my way up to the High Street on the next level, to check out the merchandise in all the 80 outlets. 

The street mall is designed with wide pavements and landscaped gardens between two rows of outlets in a unique outdoor setting, with stairs and escalators as well as elevators at opposite ends of the streets.  On each level, tinkling fountains are centerpieces that provide cool respite for shoppers hot on the bargain hunting trail.  The squirting fountain on High Street, surrounded by outlets for Guess, Armani Exchange, Burberry and Adidas, is a welcome stop because there are nearby benches to relax while the kids enjoy themselves in the adjacent play area.

Kids having fun at the fountain
Branded Bargains

I overhear someone glibly comment, “You can never have too many pairs of shoes,” and smile in agreement as my eyes survey the range of elegant footwear in Charles & Keith Reductions. 

Then, encouraged by value-minded shoppers at Vincci who are digging into a pile of fashion footwear, I enthusiastically join shoppers to try out the range of comfortable walking shoes in Clarks, Sketchers and Geox.  Over at the Nike and Adidas outlets, I can see why many shoppers are also trying out trainers and sports shoes for the best fit from the wide range of attractive designs.

There is also a neat selection of leading designer names for fashion and sportswear like Adidas, CK Calvin Klein, Coach, DKNY, Gap, Lacoste, Levi’s, Quicksilver, Roxy, Ferragamo, Shanghai Tang and Timberland and quality brands like Bonia, Carlo Rino, Esprit, G2000 and Padini beckon and I take my time to check out a mind-boggling choice.  I must say that I’m rather impressed with the customer service as most shop assistants are trained to interest potential customers with their quality merchandise.  When approached by a helpful assistant, I seize the opportunity to quiz him about his experience with shoppers and learn that with savings of up to 25% to 65% daily, business has been brisk.

Flow has fashion for full-figured women!
Specialty Stops

After a few hours of serious shopping, it’s time for a bite and a quick check of the map points me to a choice of designer coffees or teas at Starbucks and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, ice-cream at Baskin-Robbins or Absolutely Thai for Thai food, English fare at George & Dragon, Japanese at Kampachi or Chinese cuisine at Taang Shifu. 

There is also a Food Court but I’m not going to lose a moment of my precious shopping time.  I decide on George & Dragon because they serve a quick set lunch.  Fortified by a tasty hot meal, I’m back on my shopping quest again!

It’s good that the mall has gifts and souvenirs outlets for chocolate, cosmetics, fragrances and Malaysia’s renowned Royal Selangor because tourists can buy something special home.  There are also ATMs and foreign currency exchange facilities and even international shipping services for the shoppers’ convenience. 

Just as I thought I had exhausted my mall exploration, I discovered Flow – a first in Johor Baru – and am thrilled that they are dedicated to fashion for the full-figured woman!  At last, well-endowed girls can get contemporary, casual, career and evening wear in sizes up to US16 here and at affordable prices.  Oh yes, I certainly didn't go home empty-handed!

Fast Facts

Johor Premium Outlets, located at Indahpura, Kulaijaya in Johor, is accessible by the North-South Highway and the Second Link from Tuas, Singapore.  Shopping hours are from 10am to 10pm daily.  For more info, visit website:

A version of this article was published in The New Straits Times, Life & Times on 22 December 2011

Interesting Feedback:

Gwen said: 
Merry Christmas!  Thanks to your story, I just got a pair of jeans from Flow at JPO.  Yay they fit perfectly!


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