OUTLET SHOPPING IN MADRID
When the recession hit in late
1. Las Rozas Village. Patterned after open-air outlets located outside major cities in California, this “village” is also designed as an open-air plaza with a variety of shops that appeal to every member of the family—clothing and accessories for men, women, and children; home décor and accessories; sporting goods; toys; and even books. You’ll find international designer labels like Burberry, Bally, Diane von Furstenberg, and Carolina Herrera (who's HUGE in Spain); famous Spanish designers like Pedro del Hierro, Jesus del Pozo, and Purificacion Garcia; popular mall brands such as Diesel, Lacoste, and Geox; and local brands like Castañer, Bimba & Lola, and Hoss. www.lasrozasvillage.com
2. The Original Factory. This is designed more like a traditional mall and brags that it is open every day, all year long, even during holidays. Here you’ll find outlet shops for Spanish faves Zara, Mango, Massimo Dutti, and Trucco, as well as labels not yet available in the Philippines like Cortefiel, Pull & Bear, and Caramelo. Aside from carrying sportswear brands Asics and Onitsuka Tiger, there’s also a huge Nike outlet store, selling shoes, apparel, and accessories. www.factory.es
3. Lefties,. Yes, there is a comma at the end of the name. Lefties started out as an outlet store for Zara’s past-season merchandise, and a lot of the items sold were damaged or worn out, partly because they were dumped in a pile wherein customers would dig and leave the rejects on the floor. Today, stock is displayed in a more orderly manner and the store has opened more branches throughout the city. Lefties has become so popular that it now has its own labeled line of apparel for men, women, and children.
4. Salvador Bachiller. One of the trusted, traditional brands of Spain, it started out making luggage, then later branched out into basic bags and shoes. In recent years, the company got an image overhaul and launched more trendy collections to keep up with designer brands. Today, they are known for their colorful leather items. There is an outlet in Calle Gravina and another one in the basement of the Calle Alberto Aguilera branch. www.salvadorbachiller.com
5. Mango. If Mango is all you’re after, there’s no need to leave the city; there’s an outlet right off the Gran Via, in Calle de Fuencarral. The current-season collection is on the ground floor; just look for the doorway marked “Outlet,” which leads to the second floor where you’ll find apparel, bags, and shoes on sale, as well as the menswear line called HE by Mango. Be sure to check out the neighborhood it’s located in called Chueca, a.k.a. the gay district—lots of hip and funky boutiques, cafés, and clubs. www.mango.com