Hi everyone. Today I took a trip out to Shepton Mallet in Somerset, the purpose of which was to look at antiques (I know, I'm so rock n' roll). Anyway, we drove past the Mulberry Factory Shop on the way there - it's the most unassuming place, located on the outskirts of Shepton Mallet, opposite the Blackthorne Cider factory (classy). On the way back, my friend and I decided to pop in and take a look, given that we both love Mulberry, even if our budget doesn't usually stretch... I have to say, I was very impressed. There was a good selection of clothes, with very good discounts. Most of the clothes were SS10 or AW10, so they weren't really out of date.
I tried on a pair of trousers reduced to £29 from £275! They weren't a style I liked, but they were probably the best bargain there. There were a lot of items there, that whilst they weren't cheap, they were affordable if I were too stretch my budget slightly. I tried on a pair of skinny jeans for £60 - unfortunately they didn't fit, but they were lovely, so I would have definitely bought them if they did. I did, however, pick up a racer-back striped vest, for the princely sum of £22, down from £89. I had been looking for one anyway, and I know I could get a similar thing cheaper in H&M, but I do think £22 is a bargain for Mulberry.
Then, of course, there were the bags... There was a good selection, although not a huge range of colours. A black Alexa was £600, opposed to £785 full price, and an over-sized tan Alexa was £675 - worth the discount if you're going to splash out on one anyway. I was in bag heaven, although I managed to resist temptation... I was considering how I could pay back £600 if I'd got it on my credit card, but my sensible head took over! They also had a good range of much more affordable wallets, at around £115. Still a big splurge, but you could justify it as it would last forever.
The men's selection was also quite good and they had some nice man-bags, that I'd totally use as well - and they were slightly cheaper than the ladies bags!
I really liked the feel of the shop as well - it was very relaxed, with the customers being normal people, not dressed up to the nines, with helpful shop assistants - a far cry from some of the snootiness you get in designer shops in London. I didn't feel at all intimidated or pressurised to buy anything and I also felt that I could handle the merchandise - we had a good play with the Alexa bag, opening it, seeing how it would look etc, and didn't feel like we were being watched.
Finally, my £22 top was packaged with all the flourish and flair you would expect in Knightsbridge or Bond Street. It was expertly folded (I've never seen a teenage boy shop assistant take so much care over folding a cheapish top) and packaged in a cute bag, tied with ribbon, with Mulberry's 40th anniversary stickers and post-cards included. You wouldn't get that in Primark.
The website for the Factory Shop is here. Yes really, you can buy Mulberry at a big discount in Shepton Mallet - I had to see it to believe it myself! If you're going to Glastonbury this year, it's only a couple of miles away, so check it out!!!
Do you know of any more unlikely locations to buy designer and luxury goods?
Thanks for reading! xx