It's the time of year when our credit cards are scuffed and bruised from abuse. Here is our list of Joburg’s best clothing factory shops and outlet stores so you can still enjoy a bit of shopping.

Big L's

Big L’s Levi’s Factory outlet located at the Woodmead Retail Park is a favourite among students, or anyone looking to up their street cred with a good pair of denim. The store mainly stocks classically tapered, skinny, straight and slim-cut jeans, however, you can find bootleg jeans too on occasion. There are also limited bits and pieces from bigger collections like the twisted fit, commuter and curve jeans. Also in stock are shirts, the odd accessory and shoes – but in very limited numbers.

Now for the big question – how much do they cost? You can get a pair of jeans for roughly R500 and a shirt for around R250, bearing in mind that it really depends on what the item is. Commuter jeans will never cost you R400.

Address: Woodmead Value Mart, Corner Waterval Crescent and Woodlands Drive, Woodmead, Johannesburg.

Coricraft

Coricraft is one of South Africa’s favourite furniture stores and for good reason – their furniture is simple yet stunning, inspiring visitors to drop some cash at almost every visit. The real problem, however, is that we can’t all afford to fully kit out our houses in Coricraft's fine furniture as much as we might like to. The answer? Coricraft has a factory shop in Wynberg and it goes without saying that you can get great end-of-range furniture here without breaking the bank. Tip: Like most factory shops, these are limited, end-of-range products, so it’s probably advisable to visit every few weeks.

Address: Unit A, Game Complex, corner Arkwright Avenue and 4th Street, Wynberg, Johannesburg.

Big Blue Clearance Store

Ever seen someone wearing a really clever shirt with a truly South African phrase on it and wondered where it was from? That would be Big BlueTrust us, if you’ve never popped into one of their stores, you should! Their summer gear is original and well-fitting, but let’s face it, anything that cool can’t be cheap and you’d be right to assume it. That’s where the Big Blue Factory Shop in Linden comes in. They stock all the same awesome apparel at a fraction of the price. Buy a few shirts at the beginning of summer and you’ve got your tees covered for the rest of the season.

Address: 57 Third Avenue, Linden, Johannesburg.

This time of year is when our credit cards are scuffed and bruised from abuse. Here is our list of Joburg’s best clothing factory shops and outlet stores.

Geldof Chocolatiers

Attention all chocoholics: Geldof Chocolatiers is the perfect spot for you to get your chocolate fix. They make everything from Easter eggs to chocolate Santas and truffles. Luckily, they have a factory outlet in Randburg, which stocks all their delicious products at wholesale prices. We once bought a whole packet of truffles for only R30 – if that doesn't sound like a sweet deal, we don't know what does! Tip: Ring the doorbell a few times before giving up – they are often busy in the back making chocolate like a team of Oompa Loompas.

Address: Unit C1 Mikro Industrial Park, 17 Hammer Avenue; Strijdom Park, Randburg, Johannesburg.

SMEG Outlet Store

Love SMEG but don't have the budget for it? Then you'll be happy to hear that you can get your hands on a few of their appliances at discounted prices at the SMEG Outlet Store in Sandton. Styling the kitchen while not spending a fortune is music to our ears! Here, you'll be able to find amazing deals on demo, select new and end-of-range SMEG appliances, and B-grade and refurbished stock.

Address: Unit 1 Linbro Logistics Park, 1st Avenue, Ext 1. Linbro Park, Sandton, Johannesburg.

Forever New

We are forever in love with Forever New and for good reason! Their clothing, shoes and accessories are nothing short of a classy affair that we all want to be a part of. Whether you're in the mood for spoils, retail therapy or gift shopping for a bestie, this store has had girls in Joburg going crazy since their release. However, their items often have a really fancy price tag which is why you need to make a stop at their factory store in Woodmead.

Address: Woodmead Value Mart, Waterval Crescent, Woodmead Ext 5, Woodmead, Johannesburg.

Decofurn Furniture Factory Shop

Planning on redecorating your home? Or need to find affordable home furniture and accessories? The Decofurn Furniture Factory Shop in Fourways offers everything you need to revamp your living space. Most of their products are sourced from Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Vietnam and China. There's a wide range of items available at their factory shop to furnish your bedroom, lounge, patio and outdoor, dining room, office and more without busting your budget.

Address: 1293 Design & Decor Centre, Forest Road and Sunset Road, Pineslopes, Fourways, Johannesburg.

Fairland Walk

Fairland Walk is conveniently situated on the corner of Beyers Naude Drive and Wilson Street in the suburb of Fairland, Johannesburg. They have everything from Timberland to Forever New and Diesel. It's the perfect stop for anyone who's looking for good deals on a range of popular brands. So, whether it comes to clothing, shoes or accessories, this shopping centre will have you covered at fraction of the price.

Address: Corner Beyers Naude Drive and Wilson Street, Fairland, Johannesburg.

Woodmead Retail Park

Woodmead Retail Park is a large shopping centre dedicated to factory shops. This makes this retail park the perfect place to enjoy a well-deserved shopping spree if you need to refresh your wardrobe. They sport everything from the Le Coq Sportif store, to Billabong, New Balance and Fossil. If you can't find a deal here, you aren't looking hard enough!

Address: Woodmead Retail Park, Corner Waterval Crescent and Woodlands Drive, Woodmead

Playtex Factory Store

Looking to get your hands on popular underwear brands but don't want to pay an arm and a leg? Well, the Playtex Factory Store is the perfect stop for you. You can find plenty of your favourite underwear brands here, including WonderBra, SA Shock Absorber, BEAR, Playtex and She BEAR. Sure, you might have to hunt for your size, but the prices are well worth the effort, we assure you! They also have factory stores in Pretoria and Durban.

Address: Braam Street, Honeydew, Roodepoort, Johannesburg.

Beyers Chocolate Factory Shop

This is another one for our chocoholics – you can stock up on your favourite Beyers Chocolates at their factory shop in Kempton Park, Kyalami and Bedfordview. Just imagine having your own stash of Sweetie Pies, Amarula chocolates, truffles, caramel stars and much more! Seriously, this couldn't hurt.

Address: 28 Derrick Road, Spartan, Kempton Park, Johannesburg.

Bambini Ice Cream

Bambini Ice Cream have been in the business of making top quality Italian ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt and desserts for 29 years in South Africa.This has become one of the country’s biggest private owned ice cream suppliers to the hospitality industry. Luckily for us regular old ice cream lovers, they supply frozen delights to the public, too. Visit their factory store to sample some of the best Italian ice cream in the province, or shop online and have it delivered straight to your door!

Address: R23a Doornkloof Farm, Rustenburg Road, Magaliesburg.

Know of other great factory stores not mentioned above? Let us know below!

Remember that our “Top Picks” are not paid for and are compiled at the discretion of the journalist. We only write about what we love.

Lots Of Chocolate From Lindt

This one is a no-brainer. Find your nearest Lindt Chocolate Studio and get your hands on all the different types of chocolate that you know your Valentine loves, throw them into a gift bag or wrap them and voilà – a sweet Valentine’s Day gift is ready! You can either create your own “lucky packet” from choosing a selection of decadent chocolates in the many different flavours, or you can take your pick from the boxes they have ready and waiting. The LINDOR Strawberries & Cream chocolates look just divine and nothing says “I love you” like a LINDOR Heart Tin filled with choccies.

There’s Loads Of Stuff At Woolies

We all know and love Woolies, and they’re always there when we need them, especially on Valentine’s Day when we have NO gift in hand for our special someone! Here, you can pick up a bouquet of flowers (if they haven’t all sold out yet), grab a box of chocolates or a few sweet treats, pick out the best bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, maybe even get your hands on his or her favourite fragrance and shop for some sexy lingerie. There are so many options to choose from. And if all else fails, there’s always a Woolies voucher or a homemade dinner for two, thanks to all the goodies at Woolies Food.

Something Cheesy From The Crazy Store

You wouldn't associate The Crazy Store with Valentine's Day, but here we are! And to think about it, they have quite a few cute and cheesy Valentine's Day goodies to put a smile on your sweetheart's face. Let's be honest, if there's one day you can be cheesy, it's definitely on Valentine's Day. Best of all, their gift ideas won't bust your budget. They have cute little things from helium foil balloons, plushy toys and lovey dovey mugs to novelty voucher booklets, wooden plaques with sweet messages on them and heart-shaped candy.

Pamper Treats From The Body Shop

Whether you’re looking for something for the special lady in your life, the man of your dreams, a little something for friends and family, or need something to throw together a glamorous look for your hot date this Valentine’s Day, The Body Shop will have just the thing. Everyone loves a little pampering here and there, and this is a great place to stock up on all the good stuff. Take your pick from bath and body goodies, skincare items, beautiful gift sets, fresh fragrances and much more.

Get That Feeling With Sorbet

Speaking of pampering, you can also treat your loved one to something special from Sorbet. Get them a gift card for a massage or Dry Bar session, get your hands on a bunch of lovely products or choose a pretty gift set. Here, you’ll also be spoilt for choice when it comes to the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. Just pop into your nearest store. Luckily, you can find one almost everywhere you go. And for him, why not gift him with a pamper session at Sorbet Man! There's also a nice selection of products if he's into that sort of thing.

Get Your Spoils At Edgars Beauty

Edgars is your one-stop for all things makeup, skincare, fragrance, nails, brands and gift sets. And to make your last-minute gift shopping even easier, they also offer free signature gift wrapping. Crisis averted! For her, take your pick from fragrance and skincare treats that you know she’ll love. And for him, there’s everything from Nivea and Tom Ford to Aramis and Givenchy gift sets available.

Gift Ideas For The Outdoor Lovers

If your partner is more into the outdoorsy stuff, then why not get them a quick gift from Cape Union Mart. They have a bunch of fab gifting ideas for him and her. “Like what?” you might wonder… well, let’s share a few ideas with you. Gifts for him: Hydroflask coffee mug, a Red-E RSP80 Power Bank, a GoPro Hero 5 and a Zartek ZA-748 Two Way Radio. And for her: Volcano Motion Bluetooth headphones, the Victorinox Cape Protea tool or Sunski Originals sunglasses. The options are endless.

When In Doubt, Check Out Gift Experience South Africa!

There's no better gift than giving someone an experience of a lifetime, and there's no better place to find those than at Gift Experience South Africa. No matter where you are in South Africa, you'll find something fun, exciting, thrilling or even relaxing for that special someone. What can you expect? Well, you can spend some quality time together making chocolate truffles in Muldersdrift, indulge a little with a chocolate and champagne pairing or spend an afternoon quad biking out in Parys. Visit Gift Experience South Africa to see what else they have to offer.

Spoil Your Bookworm With Exclusive Books

Another idea if your partner is a little bit of a bookworm, get them their favourite book for Valentine's Day from the best book stop of them all - Exclusive Books! Make it a romance since it IS Valentine's Day (they have plenty of those). And if you're not too sure if he/she is the romantic novel type or if they enjoy the thrills that a gripping mystery offers, then there's always the option of getting them a gift voucher, which leads us into our next gifting idea...

Just Go Crazy On Vouchers!

You can’t go wrong with vouchers! And best of all, you can find them absolutely anywhere and everywhere. Sure, it might be a little less personal, but as long as you get the right store voucher, at least some thought went into it. If she likes clothes shopping, get her an Edgars, Woolworths, Truworths or YDE voucher. If he enjoys gaming, visit BT Games or Steam and buy him some new games.

The Old Faithful - NetFlorist

We will admit, this one is pretty cliche, BUT it works! NetFlorist has a variety of Valentine's Day gift sets that'll be delivered to your sweetheart, no matter where she or he is. She could be on a business trip in Durban and you can still spoil her with something sweet. Click here to take a look at all the Valentine's goodies they have lined up, pick your favourite, enter all their details, pull out that credit card, pay and BOOM. Done. As easy as that. See, Valentine's Day doesn't have to be difficult.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Flowers Are Always A Win

This is at the top of our list as it's a given. Show your appreciation for everything they do for you with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Who doesn't like receiving flowers to brighten up their day? Head over to NetFlorist to see their collection of Secretary's Day gifts. There are a variety of options to choose from, and best of all, you can add a few little things to the delivery to make it extra special.

Florists

Or How About An Edible Bouquet? 

Flowers not really their thing? Then why not get an Edible Bouquet delivered? This takes a unique spin on the traditional flowers, delivering stunning handcrafted arrangements of gourmet fruit dipped in chocolate or fruity bouquets that look just like flowers. It's definitely something rather unique... and delicious! Visit their website to view their array of sweet treats. They even have sugar-free options.

secretary's day

Pamper Sessions

Secretaries work under a lot of pressure, and it can be quite stressful keeping everything in order. How about treating them to a pamper session to help them de-stress, unwind and relax a little (especially after month end)? There's always the old faithful Sorbet Man or Sorbet that offers a variety of pamper delights. Take your pick from a selection of treatments, ranging from shaves, hair cuts, massages, facials, manis and pedis to waxing, products and vouchers.

Personalised Stationery

You can never go wrong with some personalised stationery! Personalised notebooks, mugs, pencil bags, journals, mouse pads, laptop accessories and stationery sets are available at NetFlorist. Simply select which goodies you'd like to gift, add their name to the products and you're all set. Who doesn't like personalised stuff that has their name on it?

secretary's day

Nifty & Cool Gadgets

We're living in the day and age where gadgets have become a part of our everyday lives. So, why not spoil your secretary with the gift of nifty gadgets and tech accessories? This can range from power banks and phone covers, to personalised USBs, pop sockets, a desk fridge to keep their refreshments cool and much more. Visit NetFlorist to take a look at their selection of interesting tech gadgets for the 21st century secretary.

load shedding

Build A Hamper Of Their Favourite Things

You work closely with your secretary on a daily basis. So surely you know quite a bit about them, like the things that they do or don't like or wish they had more of. So, why not go on a little shopping spree, pick up a few of their favourite things and create a personalised hamper just for them? It's one of the easiest and most thoughtful gifts you could ever give. Buy a desk organiser (that they can use at the office) then jam-pack it with a few of their faves - wine/brandy/whiskey/beer, a selection of snacks, stationery, gadgets and power banks, quirky items and coffee or tea goodies. Get creative. If you can't think of anything amazing, NetFlorist has a selection of hampers to choose from.

secretary's day

Chocolate!

What goes well with flowers? A box of chocolates, of course! Chocolates are another winner and Geldhof has a lovely selection in spirit of Secretary's Day. Take your pick from basketed hampers filled with indulgences, beautifully wrapped gift and keepsake boxes or a variety of assorted chocolates. Also, if you need sugar-free options, they'll gladly assist in store.

Geldhof

Vouchers 

Lastly, if in doubt, get vouchers for them to spend on something they'll enjoy. We know vouchers can be seen as a lazy gift option, but it gives them the freedom to pick something that they would like as the perfect gift. Vouchers are also available everywhere and anywhere. Great options include spa vouchers,

shopping

How It All Began

Most 13-year-old boys would spend their weekends playing games on their XBox or hanging out with their friends, but not Kees Beyers. This young Belgian boy woke up at 04:30 every Saturday and Sunday morning and cycled to his neighbouring town to work part-time for a confectioner. His motivation: that one day, he was going to own a chocolate factory.

Kees Beyers, now a Master Chocolatier, established Beyers Chocolates in 1987, after travelling to South Africa, falling in love with the country and deciding to make it his home. He identified a gap in the local market for high quality, affordable chocolate and so he realised his dream of starting a chocolate factory.

Beyers Chocolates

Beyers is a privately owned, family-run business that is today the largest independent manufacturer of boxed chocolates in the country. The company found success developing chocolate ranges under private labels and sub-brands that it supplied to local markets and exported to the UK, America and Australia. It also supplied airlines, the hospitality industry and some of the country’s leading retailers with quality, handcrafted, proudly local products.

Beyers Chocolates

Where Would You Have Seen Beyers Chocolates?

Beyers produces some of the country’s favourite chocolates, including Sweetie Pie, Dream Bears and the Amarula chocolate range. Eight years ago, Beyers made the decision to focus on producing its own brand of chocolate to support their private label business. The company acquired two new brands – Coach House (2015) and Yottis Turkish Delight (2016) as part of its expansion strategy. Its ultimate goal is to provide retailers with a complete solution of confectionery goods.

Beyers Chocolates

For More Information

For more information, check out Beyers Chocolates or call 011 394 6892. 

Also, check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.Beyre

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Where To Eat

Clarens Brewery

Hanging out with great company, sipping on ice-cold draughts and tucking into some delicious grub – what more do you need to make a great outing with your loved ones? And if this is just the thing you’re looking for after a long day hiking and being adventurous in and around Clarens, then Clarens Brewery is just the place to refuel, refresh and simply have a good time. This is one of the country’s first brew-pubs, cideries and distilleries, so you can expect to sample and enjoy great beers, ciders and distillate (request for the tasting board to sample a few options before placing your drink order), all while being part of the fantastic craft revolution that is sweeping our country. It is an absolute must-visit when you’re in the area.

Clementine’s

We all love a fabulous meal, which is why you need to visit one of the best dining options Clarens has to offer. Clementine’s is one of the most exclusive restaurants in Clarens, where you can expect excellent food, a great atmosphere and friendly service. The pork belly, oxtail and steaks are all highly recommended. With such great food, you can expect this place to be busy and packed over the weekends and holiday season. To avoid disappointment on your next visit to Clarens (and Clementine’s), make sure you book your table at this popular gem well in advance.

Sugar & Cinnamon

Whether you’re after a delightful breakfast or something to satisfy your sweet tooth, Sugar & Cinnamon offers all things delicious from pancakes and glorious chocolate cake to home-style meals and good coffee, all with a stunning view of the mountains in the distance. Just a short distance away from Clarens, this is a hidden gem that gives travellers and even locals a great place to relax and enjoy the fresh air out on the countryside. Talk about a great way to start the day.

Where To Shop

The Purple Onion Deli

The Purple Onion Deli is hard to miss – it’s situated around the town square (in the Clarens Windmill Centre) with a little windmill spinning away right next to it and the majestic mountains in the background. This quaint shop gives guests an exceptional country deli experience, unlike anything you’d find in the city. They source unique, handmade and special products that are made with yesteryear’s recipe, including jams, fudge, coffee, marmalades, cherry items (seasonal), chocolates, pasta, preserves, biltong and much more. And best of all, it’s all absolutely delicious.

The Cherry Company

Love everything that smells, tastes and even looks like cherries? Then The Cherry Company will be your cherry heaven! From the moment you walk into the shop, you smell cherries, as the shelves are stocked with all things cherry. And to delight your taste buds (one of my absolute favourites): the cherry liquor. Trust me, if you’re nuts about cherries, this is one spot you cannot miss while visiting Clarens.

The Ugly Duckling

Who doesn’t love quirky and interesting gifts? If you’re looking to shop for something unique for family and friends or want to take something home with you to remind you of your visit to Clarens, then make sure you check out The Ugly Duckling. As their slogan says, it’s “the shop that’s worth a stop”. This store will have everything from unusual gifts and furniture to carpets, mirrors, one-off items, toys, indigenous instruments and souvenirs.

Tobias Art

If you have a flair for all things artistic and creative, then Tobias Art is a must-visit. This spot is a landmark destination for discerning shoppers who are looking for that something ‘out of the box’. They have everything from paintings, pottery and pillows to T-shirts, handbags, handmade soap, incense and jewellery. They even have interesting vintage toys in store.

Where To Play

Ficksburg Cherry Festival

If you are frequent visitors to Clarens, then you know all about the Ficksburg Cherry Festival. But if not, then you’re in for a treat. Ficksburg is the cherry capital of the world and every year in November, they host the Ficksburg Cherry Festival that attracts many travellers and cherry lovers from across the country. A must during this festival is the Constantia Cherry Farm tour with a picnic and the McKinley Chocolate Tour. This year the festival will take place from 16 to 18 November 2017.

Plenty of hiking trails

Love the outdoors and spending time trekking along trails and exploring? Then Clarens is just the place for you, as it has plenty of hiking trails no matter your level of experience. If you want something quick and easy, then take the Spruit Walking Trail, but if you’re looking to up the tempo and the time, then why not take the Kloof Hike that’s about 2.5 to 3 hours long!

Outdoor Adventures

If it’s adventure you want, Claren Destinations has it. There are plenty of extreme adventures you can experience in Clarens, all you have to do is book and enjoy. They offer a variety of experiences to get your adrenaline pumping, including river rafting, abseiling, paintball, hiking, rock climbing, enduro trails, zip- lining, quad biking, archery, fly fishing, a variety of day tours and even skiing and snowboarding in the colder months.

Where To Sleep

Kiara Lodge

There’s a little bit of everything at Kiara Lodge. It makes for the perfect family getaway home as it has plenty of facilities to keep the little ones busy. These chalets are all complete with balconies that offer stunning views and are within walking distance to the dam, playground, swimming pool and restaurant. Also, you won’t be too far away from the main street in town, as it’s just down the road.

Protea Hotel by Marriott Clarens

This luxurious four-star retreat is nestled close to the Golden Gate National Park and the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. Protea Hotel by Marriott Clarens exudes sheer style, luxury and design that blends in with the natural beauty of the stunning little town of Clarens. It boasts 70 luxurious rooms perfect for any occasion, whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, team-building endeavor, a business conference or an adventurous weekend escape with the family.

Lake Clarens Guest House 

Apparently, this guest house has even hosted Brad Pitt… If you want 4-star luxury at its finest along, stunning country views and quick and easy access to town, then book a stay at Lake Clarens Guest House. Their luxurious rooms are furnished to make your stay as comfy as possible with queen-sized beds, TVs, fridges, snack basket and a safe, and are all tastefully decorated. And best of all, all bedrooms have an exquisite view of the lake and mountains.

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