Yesterday we went to the Bailian Outlet Plaza outside Shanghai. It is almost an 60 minutes’ drive from downtown Shanghai to the Bailian Outlet Plaza. It is the Shanghai’s answer to the popular Premium Outlets chain in the US or England’s Bicester Village. Two hundred and forty international and local designer brands such as Burberry, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Versace, Marni and Armani, sportswear giants such as Nike, The North Face, Quiksilver and Adidas and foreign chain imports Clarks, Nine West, Miss Sixty, Kookai are all represented with discounts on previous season collections.
I have never seen so many people shopping like crazy before, it is clear that foreign brands are very popular in China. For example, outside the Burberry store the line was almost longer than for the mooncakes in Nanjing Road. And the line for mooncakes was long. I be honest with you and say that I don’t feel that the Bailian Plaza is worth visiting, the stores are quite messed up, the line for the cashier is never ending and the prices are actually not so much lower than in the regular store.
If you still are in the mood for some outlet experience in Shanghai then I recommend you to visit the neighbor to the Bailian Outlet Plaza. Just across the busy road is a shopping venue called Mega Mills Outlet and going there was a much more pleasant experience. Sure not as many stores as the Bailian Outlet but who needs quantity when you can get quality? In the Mega Mills Outlet several big brands are represented, definitely enough to suit your shopping needs. The main advantages with the Mills outlet compared to Bailian is cleaner stores, much fewer people so you basically find what you want to buy and can pay for it right away, no waiting in line. Also I be honest, the prices are actually what you expect to find in an outlet, much lower than in the regular store.
So, in conclusion, go to the Qingpu District outlet area and get your shopping “fix” taken care of. Skip Bailian Outlet and go to the neighbor Mega Mills instead.
(In 2014 the never ending expansion of the Shanghai Metro will reach the outlet area, I think it is Line 2 which will be extended all the way to the outlets.)