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Whilst shopping at a factory shop is often a way of getting an item you want but at a much cheaper price, it can take up a lot of your time. Belgium and Luxembourg have their share of factory shops although the network is not as extensive as France (Factory shops in France).
Like France, sales are regulated, so 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.
In Belgium shops can only sell clothes under the name "sales", twice a year. Belgium shops may not "buy in" stock for a sale. Any items sold durng the sale period, must have been on sale previously for at least 30 days.
The Summer sales start on 28th June 2017 until the 8th August 2017.
However, many departments have different start and finish dates. More information (in French) – www.economie.gouv.fr
Another link to French Government website concerning sale dates. www.service-public.fr
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.
(French Government link for dates in all regions – more)
CREDIT CARDS – we suggest you ring your credit card company before shopping in Europe – 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.
– There is a Chic Factory Shopping Centre in Maasmechelen, north of Antwerp. Maasmechelen Village, Zetellaan, 100. 3630 Maasmechelen. Belgium. Tel: 0032 89 77 40 00. www.maasmechelenVillage.com
Eupen (on the border near Aachen) – Chocolate
– Jacques Chocolate Factory, Rue de l'industrie 16. B-4700 EUPEN. www.chocojacques.be
– McArthurGlen Luxembourg (formerly known as Factory Shopping Belgium). Worth visiting if you are going to Luxembourg. Near Arlon along the border. www.mcarthurglenluxembourg.com
Mc ArthurGlen Luxembourg is actually in Messancy in Belgium, and is strategically located on the busy crossroads between Luxembourg, France, Belgium and Germany. An ideal place to stop off, if travelling to or through Luxembourg it offers the following to shoppers;
More than 1,000 free parking places / Public toilets and baby-changing facilities / Easy access / Over 30 big brand shops / Free kids zone with jumping castle and birthday party hosting facilities / 24/7 security service covering centre and car park / "Espace Kids" opened on Wednesdays and Saturdays afternoon, as well as during school holidays and Sunday openings.
Open: Mondays through Saturdays, 10.00am to 7.00pm. Extended opening times and days during sales.
From Luxembourg: E411/E25 to Brussels, exit 32. The sign says Messancy N81 / Weyler / Longwy.
From France: the A31/E25 connects directly with the E411/E25.
From Germany: the E44 from Trier and the A8 from Saarbrücken connect directly with the E411/E25. Maps
Oostende – Chocolate
Confiseur Jacques, rue Adolf Buylstraat 4, Oostende. Tel: 0032 059 707 345.
The Chocolate Factory (sells a big range of chocolates and also tobacco and drink) – on the main road from the A16 to Ostende – leave the A16 at Junction 5, the shop is on the right just before the bridge over the canal. There is a large car park for coaches and cars.
Brussels – Modo Bruxellae, an event held in June each year to heighten awareness of the city's fashion designers (lots of links and addresses for Belgium shoppers). www.modobruxellae.be
Other Factory shopping centres nearby (in Germany);
Zweibrucken, Germany (about 100km north of Strasbourg). We have had very positive feedback about this centre, which has been highly recommended. www.thestyleoutlets.de
Metzingen (about 140km from Strasbourg). www.outletcity-metzingen.com
– Villeroy and Boch, Mettlach Outlet Centre, Freiherr-vom-Stein-Straße 4 – 6. D-66693 Mettlach. Tel: 0049 6864 / 2031. Monday – Friday 9.30am to 7.00pm. Saturday: 9.30am to 4.00pm, the four Saturdays before Christmas from 9.30am – 6.00pm. www.villeroy-boch.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.
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.
Check web sites – special "sale days" often give great value (i.e. buy one get the second free).
Metz – Talange (Moselle – south of Luxembourg, and some German centres)
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.
Much quieter than other centres and with parking a plenty, it's a worthwhile place to stop.