Shopping in Auckland

Designer Shopping

Most of the designer shops are located in the Newmarket area where you’ll find internationally acclaimed local designers such as Karen Walker who features in the wardrobe of almost every female Hollywood star you can think of. Along with kiwi designers you’ll find all the international labels as well. Newmarket has the highest concentration of shoe shops in New Zealand with 24 of them crammed into the area. In between the chic boutiques and designer stores are a plethora of trendy cafes and upmarket restaurants and bars, so you’ll have no trouble recharging your batteries between bouts of shopping.

Markets

For an authentic Kiwi shopping experience visit the Otara Markets which celebrate the many varied cultures that make up the New Zealand cultural landscape. Here you can choose from arts, crafts, clothing, jewellery, fashion and authentic native food and fresh produce.

The Silo Markets are a favourite amongst locals and kick off on a Friday evening with pop up clothing stalls, food stalls and entertainment by local and international DJ’s. On Saturday the fun continues with vintage clothing, contemporary art and an eclectic mix of food stalls. Bring the kids along, grab a bite to eat and take a walk along the picturesque Auckland Harbour waterfront.

Outlet Shopping

Dress-smart is New Zealand’s largest outlet mall and brings all of your favourite brands (and plenty you’ve never heard of) under the one roof. Be prepared to spend big and save big here as the bargains are plentiful and hard to resist. Other outlet stores are dotted around the city suburbs but Dress-Smart, with everything under the same roof, is the easiest way to outlet shop. If Outlet shopping is your thing, staying the night at one of the nearby Auckland Airport hotels is probably the easiest and best value option.

Shopping Malls

The newest of the Auckland shopping malls, Sylvia Park is the largest and arguably the best mall in New Zealand. So large they publish their own fashion magazine, the mall is home to over 200 stores selling fashion, gifts, home wares, books and more. The Mall also has a movie theatre and a great range of dining options.

Other malls worthy of a visit are St Lukes, Glenfield Mall, Henderson Mall and Shore City.

Shopping Tours

If all of this information is too much for you to handle you can always let someone else do the hard work for you and jump onboard a shopping tour. There are a number of tour operators out there… some better than others. Do some Googling and visit their websites to see what they have on offer.

Shopping in Miami

Dolphin Mall

Dolphin Mall is the largest mall in Miami and boasts over 200 shops, cafes and restaurants. As well as the more typical outlets, such as Gap, Nike and Starbucks, you can also visit some major designer outlets, including Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger.

If you’re looking for something to eat, there’s the KOBE Japanese Steak and Seafood, Tango Grill Parrillada and a host of Latin influenced restaurants. There’s also the Cinebistro – a concept cinema offering top cuisine, fine wines & cocktails and a movie.

Aventura Mall

At the three-storey Aventura Mall, you will find a vast selection of shopping and dining experiences. There’s a Disney Store, Louis Vuitton, an ever-fragrant Lush soap outlet and an entire store devoted to Lego. The eating options are also plentiful, with a host of local and world cuisines all available in the mall.

The mall also holds regular events, such as the farmers market which offers shoppers some of the finest fresh produce in the area. There are often huge discount sales in the mall, giving consumers the chance to make some major savings on designer brands.

Bal Harbour Shops

On a sunny day in Miami, few things beat a spot of retail therapy down at Bal Harbour. This upscale complex is one of the few remaining family owned malls still operating in America, and is arguably the best looking retail area in the whole of Miami.

Since the designer label Gucci set up shop in Bal Harbour during the 1970’s, many designer brands have flocked to the area. Nowadays, Bal Harbour is populated almost entirely by world renowned fashion brands, with Versace, Giorgio Armani, Dolce and Gabbana and Fendi all currently residing in the complex.

Lincoln Road

For an entirely different shopping experience, try Lincoln Road Mall – perhaps the most alternative shopping centre in the region. The mall is ten blocks wide, and is largely closed to traffic. Lincoln Road offers some exquisite architecture, arty boutiques and private cafes. Some of the best Miami hotels are conveniently located in the area, making Lincoln Road an ideal destination for budding tourists.

Wedding Dress Shopping Mistakes

Not knowing their budget

Unless you really do have an unlimited amount to spend, you should have an idea of what you can afford. Obviously your budget will go a lot further if you choose to shop for discount wedding dresses, from a factory outlet or discount designer store, but you still need to know what your limit is.

Not considering extra costs

When you budget for your outfit, you need to remember that you will be wearing more than just a dress! You need to consider your shoes, underwear, a veil if you will be wearing one, any jewellery you don’t already own (I’m guessing most of us didn’t have a tiara before we got married!), and even your hair and make up should be included.

Bringing too many people

You should definitely bring someone. Many people bring their mum and a sister or a close friend. Whoever you choose, they should be people you trust to give an honest opinion but also not try to influence you to choose a dress they like rather than the one you like! Any more than two people and you’re going to end up with too many different viewpoints, which can get confusing for you. Besides, you want your wedding dress to be a surprise for as many people as possible on the big day!

Getting all made up to come wedding dress shopping

Okay, so wedding dress shopping feels more special than normal shopping, but there really is no need to get all dressed up for us! You should make sure that you are wearing a well-fitting bra if you are likely to need extra support under your wedding dress, but apart from that, casual is fine. In fact, we would prefer you didn’t wear any make up that could get smudged off on to the dresses.

Cheap Sunglasses

  • Supplier
    It is important to choose your supplier carefully when buying cheap shades. It is not recommended to buy these products from an unknown store selling cheap products near your home. In short, it is easy to find fake products when you buy them from unknown suppliers.
  • You can even buy sunglasses online. It is easier to find cheap eyewear online as you can check out more details and reviews about the online store. Make sure you research properly and find as many details about the store as you can before placing an order.
  • Design and Style
    The experience of buying cheap sunglasses is so exciting that we usually forget to check anything else. Do not forget the design and style as it is a very important factor that you must take into consideration. You must ensure if you will be comfortable wearing the style or the design of the eyewear. Assess these important factors to save yourself from trouble later on.
  • Lenses
    Lenses are another very important thing that you must check out before purchase. In case you wish to get polarized lenses, make sure the eyewear you are purchasing has polarized lenses. Do not ignore such important factors even when you are buying cheap sunglasses.
  • ┬áMaterial
    There are certain materials people are allergic to. Make sure the material in which the shades are made suits you. Other than this, some types of materials have higher chances of discoloration. Always check the material to receive good quality shades even when you buy sunglasses online.
  • Price
    This is the most important factor to consider since you are already looking to buy cheap sunglasses. Assess all the above mentioned factors properly and ensure that the price tag with the eyewear is rightly charged. For this purpose, it is advisable that you check out the market and do some research before buying the right sunglasses.

Outlet Store Is Better Than the Internet

Lets start with some of the bad points about the web: The biggest has to be the fact that you cannot try anything on. Receive the items in the mail after trusting a photograph and simply hope that the clothes fit. If not then its a trip to the post office to mail that package back.

Another problem is security, sure i can trust big sites like amazon etc but what about smaller sites, do they have a secure connection? are they legit? where are they based?

There are many scam stores or stores that sell fake goods, when dealing with somebody remotely how can you actually trust them?

Now compare all this to the humble factory outlet. You can walk in and try clothing on, see if it fits, flip through the rails and find hidden items. You can certainly trust the store and trust the brand, everything is accountable and you can certainly take things back if you have a problem. You have help in the form of a sales assistant and a human face to speak to.

Sure there are some bad points like older lines but all these factors make outlets a great place to shop.

Both outlet stores and online stores have sales yet an outlet store is usually on sale all year round.

Dubai King of Shopping

Dubai Shopping Festival: The ongoing Dubai Shopping Festival that ends on February 2nd offers great discounts on various international brands and is one of the most popular attractions of the city. More than 70 malls and over 6,000 retail outlets are participating. Apart from citywide sales, one can also enjoy street shopping, delicious local food and amazing fireworks during the festival. As it is organized during this time of the year, the weather is perfect for roaming around in the city.

  • Shopping Malls: Unlike the expensive malls in the West, Dubai malls are pocket-friendly and offer only the best-valued items. The malls are different in the sense that the decoration is surreal. The Wafi Mall that is home to brands of Montblanc, and Mall of the Emirates, are striking and very popular with the locals. The fully air-conditioned malls also offer great respite from the hot and dry summers.
  • Unique Souks: Apart from the sophisticated malls, the city also boasts of souks that are Middle Eastern-style bazaars full of fun and bustling with people. From headscarves to gold, there is something for everybody at the souks and they are an experience that is unique to this urban place.
  • Local Buys: Shoppers from all over the world come to the city to buy carpets, textiles, perfumes, spices and gold. Saffron is sold in large quantities here and so is gold. One cannot go back from Dubai without buying perfumes that add a fragrance of style to the shopping experience in the city.
  • Shopping Hours: One thing that makes shopaholics fall in love with the city is the timings of most of the malls here. Usually, they start at 10 am in the morning and are open till 10 pm daily. Owing to the hot weather, a lot of local shops remain shut in the afternoon which makes sense as nobody would want to walk in the sun to shop. One can go out in the evening for an exceptional shopping experience.

The Dubai airport also offers finest duty-free shopping opportunities at the sophisticated outlets inside it. Both the departing and arriving passengers can buy items from these outlets.

Guide to Shopping in Phuket

Thailand is known worldwide for its beautiful silks and batik. Shopping for Thai silk may be done in several places in Phuket. You may go to the Central Festival or Jungceylon malls, or you may opt to visit any of the Jim Thompson outlets, named for the American businessman who put up a silk company in Thailand after World War II. The Phuket Central Festival Mall can be found just outside the town of Phuket while the Jungceylon Mall can be found opposite Bangla Road in Patong. The Jim Thompson outlets are found in several resorts, the Canal Village, the Phuket Central Festival, and The Courtyard. For colorful and creative batik shirts, sarongs, or bags, be sure to visit Chai Batik, a shop owned by artist Chai Chansongsang located on Chaofa East Road.

For authentic Thai arts and crafts, the OTOP Market in Patong is the best place to visit. Here you will find a great selection of handicrafts, fabrics, decors, and other merchandise that will make great souvenirs of your trip to Thailand. The OTOP Market is at the back of Holiday Inn Resort on Rat-U-Thit Road.

Shoppers in search of Phuket pearls will not be disappointed because there are several reputable shops carrying beautiful pearls of different shades and sizes. Make sure you choose a pearl factory or shop that is accredited by the TAT. Art lovers in search of beautiful paintings by local Thai artists would do well to visit the different shops on Rat-U-Thit Road or the beach road in Patong.

Try to schedule your visit on a weekend in order to experience the Phuket Weekend Market, right outside the town. It is near the Central Festival Mall. It is worth a visit because of the assortment of secondhand items, knickknacks, live animals, and great sampling of local food.

Another market worth visiting is the Phuket Indie (Indy) Market. It is held twice a week on Dibuk Road and is a regular jaunt for locals, particularly young adults and teenagers, who like the carefree vibe that it gives off. This is actually a small market that can be explored in 20 minutes. Aside from vendors, you might even catch some live performers at the Phuket Indie Market.

Shopping in Glasgow

All Under One Roof

Glasgow’s malls are a shopping Mecca. The Buchanan Galleries at the top of Buchanan Street is regarded as the best mall in the city centre. It’s 80 shops including John Lewis, H&M, Habitat, and Next are a mix of big retailers and smaller boutiques which sell fashion, accessories, clothes and gifts.

The St. Enoch Shopping Centre near Argyle Street is the biggest glass structure in Europe and is the most central of the city’s malls. It is very family friendly with plenty of shops for children such as toy shops, the Disney Store and video game outlets, and houses big retailers such as Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins, TK Maxx and Boots. In addition, there is a huge food court. Seating over 850, you can enjoy a selection of MacDonald’s, KFC, DiMaggio’s, and Chinese food, or simply take the weight off your feet and enjoy a coffee.

Princes Square on Buchanan Street is the designer shopper’s paradise. It’s a sophisticated blend of designer and specialist boutiques selling fashion, lifestyle, gifts, and art and crafts, cafe’s offering fresh coffee and home baking, and quality Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Italian and Scottish restaurants. It’s beautiful interior including theatrical centre space with mosaic floor, glass roof, brass and glass lifts, and wooden features, makes it attractive for shoppers and browsers alike.

Merchant City

Merchant City is a little shopping oasis offering a quieter shopping experience choc full of atmosphere. Situated a short walk east of Buchanan Street and Argyle Street, it has little traffic, is a fantastic place to explore, and is probably Glasgow’s most cosmopolitan shopping area. Its chic bars, restaurants and coffee shops, exclusive boutiques, cool art galleries, and specialist outlets sell everything from antiques, designer jewellery, clothes and accessories. Nestled just behind George Square is the Italian Centre. In and around its beautiful, authentic piazza are exclusive and designer shops and boutiques including Emporio Armani and Versace, and Italian pavement cafes; the perfect place to sit and enjoy the unique atmosphere.

The Barras

No shopping trip to Glasgow would be complete without a trip to the world famous Barras market. Only a five minute walk along Argyle Street’s pedestrian precinct, the Barras is a market brimming with Glasgow character. Originally in the early 20th century, traders set up their stalls on barrows. The modern Barras features a street level indoor market under the celebrated Barrowland Ballroom, and outside a maze of stalls and bazaars selling anything from antiques, DVDs, clothing, and to junk, bric-a-brac and burgers and chips. It’s a fabulous place to visit just for the atmosphere alone.

Getting There

Glasgow’s excellent travel links make travelling in and around the city quick and easy. With multi-storey car parks at Sauchiehall Street, St. Enoch’s Centre, Buchanan Street and Waterloo Street driving in is easy. Getting around the city is made simple and convenient by the subway, called “The Clockwork Orange” by Glaswegians, and trains, buses and taxis are plentiful and frequent. Most Glasgow shops are open from Monday to Saturday 0900-1730/1800. Thursday is late night shopping with shops open till 8pm or later and most larger retailers open on Sundays.

Stress Out of Christmas Shopping

Smart shoppers this year are saying no to that and doing most of their shopping in the comfort of their own home on the internet. I have been doing it for years. With a glass of wine in the hand, no queuing, casual browsing at your leisure, I can’t think of a better way to take the stress out of Christmas shopping.

With today’s economic climate, most people have to watch their pennies and doing shopping on line is a great way to save money. Many online stores offer free delivery if you spend so much and because online stores haven’t got the expense of running a shop they can offer much more competitive prices. You will also save money by not having to drive to the closest shopping outlet, which means you save petrol as well as saving the environment. Plus you won’t have to fork out on the extortionate parking tickets some of these car parks charge.

But online shopping is not just about saving money, yes we are living in harder times and everyone is being more frugal, but there is also the stress you’re missing out on. Stress levels tend to rocket as the Christmas season sneaks upon us. Shopping online means you will be missing out on all of the queuing, bumping into people, getting hot one minute, cold the next where you’re running in and out of shops and just the general stressed associated with Christmas shopping.

Another great aspect to online shopping is that without leaving the comfort of your own home you can search for niche boutiques and particular items. You can spend time picking an appropriate present that you know will be greatly received. If you have a rough idea or what somebody likes you can do a direct search on Google. My brother for example loves Southampton Football Club, (someone has too!). So I did a search Southampton Football gifts and found many sites selling gifts and memorabilia. I won’t say what I bought just in case he reads this. But put it this way, I know he will be over the moon and I will definitely be getting some little sister brownie points from him.

For gifts that you can easily find on every high street like the latest CD’s, DVDs or Xbox games why not use the online comparison sites to compare the prices? Why pay more at the local high street shops when you can buy the same item and have it delivered to you and save money. It makes perfect sense right?

So get online, get surfing and save yourself some money. What you save can be spent on yourself, which is always great therapy. Plus you will be doing yourself some good by minimising your stress levels this Christmas.

Online Outlet Stores

I have done it all! I have been in line at 3 am on Black Friday, still stuffed to the gills from the previous day’s turkey meal. I have hit “midnight” sales and “today only” specials. I have camped out all night to snag the “hottest Christmas toy this season”. But I have never enjoyed shopping more than I do now. All from the comfort of my computer chair! Big fluffy slippers, a steamy cup of java and my mouse. Surfin’ the online outlet stores for the latest bargains!

It all started last year after Christmas. Instead of gifts some family members had given me money…”so you can get what you want.” And if you personally knew me, you’d know I’d want a bargain! And what better place to find one than the outlet stores. So I bundled up and got ready to head out to the outlets. Whoa! But not so fast! I noticed I had a flat tire. I wasn’t going anywhere! So back in the house I went. Bummed out.

What to do? What to do? Then it hit me. The internet! Surely in the 21st century the internet would have online outlet shopping. A whole new world opened up to me when I searched for outlet stores on the net. Some of my old favorites appeared in the search listing. But to my surprise, some faces also showed up. And I also discovered some retailers preferred to use the term “outlet” while others had amazing sales and clearance sections. Amazing enough to rival the deals I found at brick and mortar outlet stores. I was hooked! Yes, I still shop the outlets 30 miles from my house. Just not as often now that I have found online outlet shopping!