Outlet malls in Melbourne are an open secret.
There I go confusing people again. I mean, people know about them, but don’t necessarily think about them when they actually go shopping. Well, there’s them and then there’s you, actually doing your research before you set out. You’ve come to the right place. There are many Melbourne factory outlets if you care to count but here are the seven best.
Trust me, shopping in Melbourne is a joy if you know your factory outlets.
1. Spencer Outlet Centre
Spencer outlet centre wasn’t always this glam; it was a drab little crab once. With due apologies to Tamatoa, it’s now “shyneh!” after a makeover. Bang in the middle of the city with the Skybus Terminal and a train station attached, you can’t go past Spencer outlet centre when it comes to shopping convenience. You’re on the city loop, which means you can get to other parts of the CBD in minutes by train or tram. If you came by train you simply walk across and voila! You’re in the centre in two minutes.
A bustling food court entices you with all your favourite cafes and juice bars looking busy. If you’re looking for a bite, Lucky Luke‘s is a good bet with sandwiches, panini, salads, and more. You can get a good-sized sandwich and coffee for about AUD15 and still make change. Other choices here at this outlet centre food court includes Greek food, sushi, Schmitz, pizza, and Asian food. Outlet shopping should never be done on an empty stomach and so once that’s taken care of, it’s shopping time.
Spencer outlet is open all year round – the only exceptions being Good Friday, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. This is the only place in the city that you’ll find Harris Scarfe, Cotton On Mega store, and TK Maxx outlets with incredible discounts no less. Then there is the gigantic Chemist Warehouse that sells top perfume brands at dream rates. To give you an idea, Calvin Klein Euphoria was going for AUD45 and Eternity for AUD33. Enough said. Up to 60% off is boldly advertised by big names like it’s the end of times. Ben Sherman, Windsor shoes, Bonds, Tony Bianco, Rodd & Gunn, Simone Perele all vying for your custom with lovely prices. So, whether it’s sunglasses, trainers, hats, designer bags, shoes, homewares, clothing, no outlet mall in Melbourne can give Spencer a run for its money.
Opening hours: 10am to 6pm
Address: 201 Spencer St, Docklands VIC 3008
2. DFO South Wharf
Being located on the South Wharf Promenade is a huge plus in itself for this outlet mall in Melbourne, but the DFO South Wharf gets even more exciting when you see what they have on offer. You have the pleasure of shopping in Melbourne with the added bonus of the scenic location by the Yarra and the tantalising south wharf restaurants. If you plan to drive, they have a 24/7 car park. Please remember to pick up your discounted parking ticket after any purchase you’ve made as you stand to get a 50% discount off your parking fee. Isn’t that a good feeling?
If you can’t be bothered with all that it’s a short stroll across the Seafarers pedestrian bridge. Then there’s public transport in the form of trams 12, 96, and 109. For added excitement, consider getting on board a Melbourne water taxi; a pick-up and drop-off service that never sleeps. There’s one running every 15 minutes and costs about AUD11 one way and AUD20 for a return trip.
Cheap shopping in Melbourne is something of an oxymoron as the city is not known for giving it away, especially when it comes to international brands. But at the DFO south wharf outlet, you get all that for less. You get Sass & Bide, Armani, Witchery, CK, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Korres, Mimco, and Karen Miller at a whopping 70% off their original prices. That should hopefully make up for the parking hassle, the basement location of some shops, and the aching feet.
Opening hours: 10am to 6pm (Sat to Thu), 10am to 9pm (Fri)
Address: 20 Convention Centre Pl, South Wharf VIC 3006
3. DFO Moorabbin
Moorabbin direct factory outlet is neighbours with the Moorabbin airport. You can take that any which way you like—a darned nuisance or easy commute. The outlet is located in Cheltenham and is about 20km from the Melbourne CBD. They have over a hundred brands from Adidas to Zohar. You don’t need an introduction to the former, but the latter is a fashion jewellery store with Swarovski Elements. At the moment there aren’t any earthshaking sales, but it would be a good idea to subscribe and be in the loop when big things happen. If in the area, you could check out Politix and Johnny Bigg which, at the moment of writing, are holding big sales which may repeat itself in future.
Opening hours: 10am to 6pm
Address: 250 Centre Dandenong Road, Moorabbin Airport VIC 3194
4. DFO Essendon
DFO Essendon is just 20 mins from Melbourne CBD and on the way to the Tullamarine Airport. They have free parking from 9.30am to 7pm every single day of the week. Not entirely sure if it’s to do with having an international airport in the vicinity but they do offer luggage lockers that will fit large suitcases right at the main entrance to the factory outlet for a fee ranging from AUD7-10. This factory outlet has two food courts with a number of cafes and a variety of good eats.
Now moving on to the serious stuff, the stars of this factory outlet are Armani, Ralph Lauren, Coach, Tommy Hilfiger, and RM Williams. If you’re thinking of getting branded clothing for kids (the jury is out on that one, but) here’s where you might just find it at down-to-earth prices. Choose from Carters Osh Kosh Bgosh, Hugo Boss, Indie Kids by Industrie, Kathmandu, Polo Ralph Lauren, Ollie’s Place and quite a few more. Godfreys, JB Hi-Fi, and The Good Guys have the electronics and white goods covered and they offer competitive discounts that can only work in your favour. Get good deals on furniture from Nick Scali, Freedom Furniture, Snooze, Provincial Living, OZ Design Furniture, or Focus on Furniture. You don’t always find furniture shops in an outlet mall in Melbourne. This outlet is rather spacious and perfect for walking around aimlessly if that’s what you feel like. If the going gets tough you can always get yourself a massage or a new hairstyle.
Opening hours: 10am to 6pm
Address: 100 Bulla Rd, Essendon VIC 3041
5. Uni Hill Factory Outlet
Shopping in Melbourne is actually more exciting and fruitful when you leave the madding crowd of the CBD behind and head out to the suburbs. That’s when you discover hidden gems such as this direct factory outlet hidden away in Bundoora. You might stand to gain from a massive up to 70% off on big fashion brands if the planets have aligned. They have a good range of popular brands like Kathmandu, Ginger Tree, Country Road, Cotton On, Decjuba, as well as sporting brands such as Adidas, Nike, Asics, Fila, Champion, Mizuno, Finish Line, Puma, New Balance, and Quicksilver. They occasionally hold mammoth 70% sales on big brands. At the time of writing, Converse has announced a 50% off on the second item while Sheridan appears all set to beat rival Bed Bath N Table’s 25% off full-priced items with a 60% off their brand.
If you’re a student, Unihill is the factory outlet for you. They have a number of exclusive offers covering clothing, sportswear, cookware, lingerie, and homewares. Donut King, Nando’s and some cafes also share this soft spot for students. Food courts in outlet malls in Melbourne usually seem like afterthoughts, and this place is no different. The selection is pretty limited. Unless you decide to go across to the Unihill Town Centre which has a few options. They’re located right on Plenty Road and is just 18km from the CBD. Tram 86 from Bourke St. in the city stops almost right at its doorstep. On the other hand, if you decide to drive down, there’s plenty of free undercover parking available.
Opening hours: 10am to 6pm seven days a week, except Good Friday & Anzac Day
Address: 2 Janefield Dr, Bundoora VIC 3083
6. Clear iT
Clear iT is an exclusive Australian designer brand clothing factory outlet in Melbourne’s Fitzroy. Alannah Hill is the star followed by Dangerfield, Jack London, Princess Highway, and more. They are all in there somewhere if you can find it. The place is a bit like the Hulk had just left, not finding what he wanted. You need to be prepared to spend some time to wade through this outlet mall in Melbourne! They have two levels and you’re not allowed to take your downstairs shopping to the upper level. You can leave it in safe hands and continue your shopping at the next level.
You can get good bargains but considering the original prices run to a few hundreds, it might still be not as low as you’d like it to be. However, having said that it could be that you might just find a designer dress in your size and in your favourite colour lying unnoticed in a heap and you’re at the right place at the right time. And if a button’s missing, consider it your lucky day. They also have a Clear it Online store that ships internationally.
Opening hours: 10am to 6pm (Mon to Thu), 10am to 7pm (Fri), 10am to 6pm (Sat), 11am to 6pm (Sun)
Address: 188-192 Brunswick St Fitzroy VIC 3065
7. Five Star Factory Direct
Five Star factory outlet located in Footscray is lesser-known than its more famous counterparts, but it’s still worth checking out. They offer top brands in clothing, homewares, manchester, sporting goods, and kids’ clothing brands at a fraction of the original retail prices. The Footscray factory outlet has new stock coming in weekly and they assure you a good find every time you visit. Right now, they’re having a 50% off the last marked price storewide. Sounds like a win-win.
Opening hours: 9.30am to 5pm (Thu to Sat)
Address: 7-9 Mephan St, Footscray VIC 3011
8. Breville Kambrook Philips Factory Outlet
Update: Breville Kambrook Philips Factory Outlet is permanently closed now.
Hands up if you’ve ever entered the darkened interiors of a store because you spotted swashbuckling cookware in the window. Yeah, we’ve all been there and done that. Once inside your faithless heart promptly forgets the poor pot at the window and is taken up by the fancier stuff inside. The Breville Kambrook Philips Factory Outlet in Fitzroy is meant for cavalier folk like us. Get the latest, glitziest kitchen appliance for almost half the retail price and add to your unused gadgets collection or cook your way to MasterChef.
Opening hours: 9am to 5pm (Mon to Sat), 9am to 4pm (Sun)
Address: 427 Smith St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Other outlet malls in Melbourne
Melbourne’s shopping streets like Bridge Road and Smith Street are lined with factory outlets and retail store warehouses where massive discounts and cheap shopping in Melbourne are the order of the day. Hardened shoppers don’t bat an eyelid when they see a 75% off sale sticker.
To give you an idea, on Smith Street you’ll find the bags only outlet, The Handbag Warehouse, with branded names just lying around. Bridge Road Melbourne has Alannah Hill, Dotti, Novo, Sportsgirl, Portmans among others with genuinely discounted designer clothes. Once you’re done with Bridge Road you should grab a bite and get started on Chapel Street shopping. This is a no-bargain zone, but there’s no law against gazing longingly through windows.
Ready to shop in these outlet malls in Melbourne?