In the wake of the global financial crisis, a new type of Brisbane woman has emerged. Dressed in half price jeans and a buy-one-get-one-free T shirt, the recessionista traipses south east Queensland in her 25% off designer shoes, searching for bargains.
While Brisbane-ites once envied the shopping opportunities in Sydney and Melbourne, the past couple of years have seen a reversal, with our southern rivals now flying up here to take advantage of Brisbane's quality factory outlets. So where does the savvy Brisbane shopper find the best buys?
The Discount Factory Outlet (DFO) complexes at Brisbane Airport and Jindalee are a good place to start. Boasting more than 100 retailers, these centres host big brand stores like Industrie, Tony Bianco, Sheridan and Wedgewood at up to 70% off the retail price. DFO's are a convenient choice, as they are located in one easy to navigate area. Both shopping centres provide ample parking and food courts, and are open from 10am until 6pm, seven days a week. Queensland Rail Airtrain offers deals for shoppers at Brisbane Airport DFO.
Stones Corner was once Brisbane's most well known discount shopping area, but the emergence of the DFO centres have seen this suburb wain in popularity. The good news is that Stones Corner has become a bit of a secret spot which means no wrestling with crowds of people to grab the best bargain. Stones Corner is a great spot to pick up quirky, no name items for a cheap fashion fix, and still provides a good selection of cheap formal fashion. Stones Corner is located on Logan Road between Woolloongabba and Coorparoo.
Grab your girlfriends and dedicate an entire day to exploring Harbour Town on the Gold Coast Highway. This massive, partially outdoors shopping mall has everything from fashion to home wares to books to furniture. Facilities include a currency exchange, Internet booths, Gold Class cinema, post office, banks, fresh food grocers, countless restaurants and cafes and, if you're too tired to drive home after a day of shopping, a hotel.
When it comes to discount shopping, there is one caveat – these stores generally provide a lower level of customer service and only offer limited sizes and colours. But if you have the time and patience to shop around, you'll never have to pay full price again. With so many excellent clearance stores in and around Brisbane, Brisbane shoppers can have their designer shoes and wear them too.