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The Shopping Trail
Factory Shops & bargains to look out for....

Factory Shopping outlets
McArthur Glen factory shopping outlet, Roubaix  L'Usine - factory shopping outlet in Roubaix  Royal Dentelle lace shop calais  
1. McArthurGlen factory outlet shops at Roubaix 2. 'Usine' - designer factory outlets in a stylishly converted old mill - also in Roubaix 3. Buy lace straight from the factory in Calais

Head for Roubaix (a quick Metro-ride from Lille) if you are looking for bargains in fashions from factory outlet shops - it has the two largest centres in the region.

On a smaller scale, Calais is the place for straight-from-the factory bargains in lace...

Factory shopping centres in Roubaix:

McArtur Glen: 44 Mall de Lannoy, 59100 ROUBAIX
Tel: 00 33 3 28 33 36 00
Fax: 00 33 28 33 36 01

A L'Usine: 228 ave Alfred Motte, 59100 ROUBAIX
Tel: 00 33 3 20 83 36 00
Fax: 00 33 20 82 34 60
Email: [email protected]

You never know what bargains await you in Nord - Pas de Calais. The glass factory at Arques is the region's largest employer - so it's not surprising it's also a good place to go for bargains in glassware.

Most towns have their street markets, supermarkets, factory shops, craft workshops - despite the tumbling of European trade barriers, you'll be surprised at how much of what is on sale is still different from what you buy at home....

Save on taxes, duty-free
Cross-channel ferries are no longer allowed to sell goods in mid-Channel "duty-free" (without any taxes in the price) which used to give shoppers big savings - and the ferry companies big profits - until that concession was abolished.

The French and UK governments raise their revenue in different ways, giving popular opportunities for cross-border travel just to save taxes - and for smuggling. French taxes on many goods are lower than those in the UK, which has correspondingly lower Income Tax, social security contributions and company taxes. So British shoppers can save by a short trip to buy their usual brands of tobacco, wine, spirits, beer and other goods at prices which only include the lower French tax.

You can do this on the ferries - both P&O Stena and SeaFrance ferries have well-stocked shops on board, which sell at French prices once they have crossed the half-way line in mid-Channel! ...and also at the Channel Tunnel terminals. There are several big hypermarkets in Calais which are geared up to sell what UK buyers are looking for.

Boulogne street market
Weekly street market in Boulogne
Onion and garlic market stall
Street market stalls are full of onions, garlic, shallots. Some varieties are difficult to find in UK, like a tress of "chicken leg" shallots, Cuisses de Poulet....

Why not head inland?
Calais has some really good shops, and lace is the local speciality.

Don't miss the weekly markets! - see our calendar of market days in each of the main towns.

It is worth heading inland to Boulogne, Saint-Omer or Lille to sample a wider range of what the French like to buy - if you are after something different, rather than tax savings.

We would like these pages include some brilliant "finds" reported by our "reviewers", so why not send us YOUR suggestions of "Bargains to look out for"?

Factory Shops & other sources of bargains

chocolates in Beussant
BECASUC sweet factory, Boulogne
lace curtains & tablecloths near Cambrai
Lace shops in Calais

glassware in Arques
Glassblower in Saint-Omer
pottery & ceramics at Desvres

Local weekly markets - days and place for each town in the Nord and Pas-de-Calais
Christmas fairs - opportunities to buy unusual presents

Markets in Lille - and the famous 'Braderie', a 'flea-market' that takes over the central streets every September

Weblink: - the site for day-trippers to CALAIS full of information and links for cross-Channel bargain-hunters on a quick trip. For a modest fee, you can join a members' club for access to regularly updated price comparison surveys of the best bargains around the port and crossing the channel.

We recommend...
Channel Hopper's Guide: Lille
by Sharon Livingstone
Find out more about this book....

Channel Hopper's Guide: Calais & Boulogne
by Sharon Livingstone

Find out more about this book....

Buy these great shopping guides at up to 20% off!



Roubaix © Copyright 2000-02 Invicta Media. Last updated 17th June 2002 / 27th December 2001