Like a moth to an open flame, even those on the strictest budget will hear the seductive call of sales and discounts and grudgingly answer it. So consider the case for the Johor Premium Outlets – the first Premium Outlet Center in Southeast Asia. Featuring more than 80 designer and name brand stores from Burberry to Gap, the stores feature factory direct savings of 25% to 65% every day akin to the hallowed outlets in New York and Australia so often spoken of. The question on everyone’s lips right now, which Tongue in Chic will also attempt to answer is this – is the Johor Premium Outlets worth a visit?

In short, the answer is, “Sure, why not?” As any bargain hunter can attest to this truth, every sale is always worth a visit. And given that the discounts at JPO are all-year round, and even then, some stores have extra discounted racks, you never know what you stand to gain. It’s a 3 hour drive from Kuala Lumpur, or a 1 hour drive from Singapore, located just at the intersection of the North-South Expressway and the Second Link Expressway, which makes it a viable pitstop for a roadtrip.

That being said, it should be acknowledged that the pickings might be better if you’re willing to peruse off-season collections and come armed with a ‘shop luxury’ mindset. Otherwise, prices might still appear steep. For instance, DKNY had a store-wide 80% on shoes and bags, but their lowest-range items were a pair of flats for RM930. Without further ado, here is the rookie’s guide to shopping the best deals and thrills at JPO.

Must Visit Discounts:
La Senza Lingerie and Fossil. The former had 10 pairs of underwear for RM50, and the latter had watches that were discounted up to 60% off. Fossil also had their classic range of leather bags starting from RM200.

La Senza

Vincci and Charles & Keith were particularly useful in shopping trendy shoes for cheap with discounts of up to 50% for both stores.


Winterwear was also a big draw at Burberry, where winter jackets were discounted from RM17,000 to RM7,000.

Wide open spaces and an open-air shopping environment means that sunscreen is a must.

Biggest Disappointments:
With nary a discount in sight, the Cotton On store at JPO is seemingly just like any other branch in a mall. Particularly disappointing given that the premium outlet stores in Australia are heavily discounted.

Beauty and sunglasses were also two sections that could be improved upon. The current offerings were very limited – only The Body Shop and some skincare at the Cosmetics & Designer Fragrances for beauty, and not a single dedicated optical shop in sight.

Cosmetics and Designer Fragrances

Shops to Wait For:
Due to open in the first quarter of 2012, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Brooks Brothers and Versace will surely add to the shopping experience at JPO. It might be well worth the wait before making the trip.

Best Shopping Distraction:
Experience pewter craftsmanship from world-renowned brand, Royal Selangor, as you mold your own bowl using your bare hands at the School of Hard Knocks by Royal Selangor. The unique pewtersmithing workshop has only four branches in the region – Penang, Setapak, Singapore and now, Johor, and it is a fun distraction when you need a break from shopping. The workshop will set you back by RM60, but you will have the finished product, apron as well as a certificate to mark your ‘graduation’ from the School of Hard Knocks.

School of Hard Knocks at Royal Selangor

Johor Premium Outlets is located at:
Indahpura, 81000 Kulaijaya
Johor Darul Takzim

Opening Hours:
Monday to Sunday, 10am to 10pm

For a full list of shops available, visit the official website: