Direct factory outlets guide

Factory outlet centres can be a bargain hunter’s paradise but don’t let the sale signs go to your head.
Learn more
  • Updated:18 Oct 2007


DFO logo

In brief

  • If you’re prepared to spend some time looking, you can make serious savings at factory outlet centres.
  • Beware of overspending. Research shows that while shoppers can save money at these centres, they generally buy more items, voiding any saving they may have made.
  • ‘Made for factory outlet’ stock isn’t necessarily of a lower quality, it’s just not available in mainstream stores.
  • Faulty stock is rare in factory outlets, and should always be clearly labelled.

Forget your local Westfield: there’s a new breed of shopping centre appearing around the country. These creatures have all your favourite labels: Country Road, Villeroy & Boch and Esprit, plus cafés and free parking, but best of all, their stock’s on sale all the time — some of it’s at more than 70% off.

Welcome to the world of factory outlet centres. A major challenge to traditional CBD retailing, they are already a huge success in the US and UK, and starting to boom in Australia, as a growing number of consumers find they can get the brands they want for less.

If you live in a capital city, chances are there’s already a Brand Smart, Harbour Town or DFO shopping centre near you. And if there isn’t, there’s likely to be soon. More and more retailers are tapping into this emerging market, realising it’s a great way to offload stock and raise their profile with a fresh set of consumers.

In this report we explain:

  • How factory outlets work
  • The type of goods you can expect to find
  • Ways to get a genuine bargain
  • The results of our price comparison between stores

Please note: this information was current as of October 2007 but is still a useful guide to today's market.



Sign up to our free

Receive FREE email updates of our latest tests, consumer news and CHOICE marketing promotions.