I've been to several outlet malls in my life: in Madrid, in New York, in Texas; and while the one in Madrid was not much of a shopping hoopla, the ones in the States are outta this world. So unsurprisingly, when I learnt that Premium Outlets decided to open a mall of the same kind in Johor and that they were organising one-day press trips there, I wanted to go!

The PR company filled a bus chockfull with media today and we set off for Johor Premium Outlets. It took us about an hour from the time we left Fullerton Bay Hotel, where we met, to us getting off the bus. If you need driving or public transport information, you can look it up here; alternatively, if you want to travel in a group of 15 or more, you can have them arrange a group tour for you.

First things first - the outlet mall does look like the malls I've been to in other parts of the world, unfortunately, despite the large land area that Malaysia has, the outlet mall is pretty minuscule.

The following are some of the brands that have retail spaces at JPO.

  • Adidas - A Climacool sportsbra would've cost about SGD$50+. I was looking for running shoes, but it actually would be cheaper for me to get it here with a media discount.
  • Burberry - Jeremy was contemplating of getting a Burberry trenchcoat which would've cost him about SGD$1,600. I'm not sure how much it retails for in Singapore, but I'm not a big fan of Burberry so I didn't spend too much time in there.
  • ck Calvin Klein - selections were limited. If you looked enough, the discounts could get up to 60%, but I still thought you could get cheaper things at the Club 21 bazaar.
  • DKNY - I bought J a pair of sneakers because we were given some Club 21 vouchers and I wanted to use them. I'm not sure if it's because the FW season is out on the racks, but nothing really caught my eye. And I usually like one or two pieces from DKNY. Maybe people have already bought them out!
  • Lacoste Outlet - Dead town. Don't even bother.
  • La Senza Lingerie - Undies at 10 for RM50, bras at 2 for RM100. La Senza's lingerie doesn't fit me as well as Victoria's Secret does, so I'm not sure about how that discount compares to their semi-annual sale here.
  • Rip Curl - I actually found a surf top I wanted to get for my coming beach vacay BUT their credit card machine was faulty. Seriously?!
  • Salvatore Ferragamo - My eyes started stinging and tearing the moment I stepped into the store from the fresh paint fumes! But apparently, if you look hard enough, you can find heels that "usually sell for S$790 in Singapore, that now cost around S$430 (RM1,040)."
  • Michael Kors - I checked out a watch for myself that was SGD$299 after 40% discount. You can see for yourself how much their watches retail for before discount here.
  • Pedro - Men's shoes started from RM49, but on average, nicer pieces were RM149 and above
  • Charles & Keith - War zone. I was scared.
  • Coach - No outlet mall is complete without Coach. There was a line outside Coach. Of course.

The Johor Premium Outlet still has yet to open some stores including Tommy Hilfiger, Polo Ralph Lauren and Versace, which they hope will be opened by the official launch, which is slated to be this Sunday, 11 Dec.

My verdict on it? Go, if you've never had an outlet shopping experience before. If you have shopped at outlet malls, check it out if you're keeling over and dying from curiosity but don't say I didn't warn ya. Maybe make plans after to find the nearest pit stop for a Ramly Burger!

At the end of the day, I bought a pair of DKNY high top sneakers for J, and four pairs of PJ bottoms and a hoodie from Cotton On Body [which added to about SGD$24]. And then I went online and bought a dress and a pair of bathers from ASOS. Score!