McArthurGlen, Roubaix

Home truths: shopping around

Someone asked me last week what I miss most about living in England. I didn’t have to think long or hard. “T K Maxx,” I replied.

Yes, the discount fashion store comes out top of my not-very-homesick-at-all list.

It’s not that shopping there is always a delight – often it has all the charm of a jumble sale of the end of a long, wet afternoon. It’s more that I like to wear designer brands that I have paid high-street prices for.

Fortunately, I need miss T K Maxx and its interiors sister company Homesense no more. We have discovered our local outlet village.

McArthurGlen is a pan-European chain of outlet shopping centres and they have one in Roubaix, just a few kilometres from Lille. There are around 80 shops offering discounted prices all year round.

Given its location, it’s become a destination for the people of northern France and Belgium in search of some retail therapy on a budget.

We headed over to it last Saturday, as we needed some bedding for our new apartment. With Anne de Solène, Yves Delorne and Tradition des Vosges all represented there, we were spoilt for choice. We came away with 2 sets of pillow cases and fitted sheets to go with the duvet sets we had bought earlier that week.

“Often T K Maxx has all the charm of a jumble sale of the end of a long, wet afternoon”

But leaving with only what we had gone there for in the first place seemed a waste. So – rather gamely – we had a look around the rest of the shops, particularly those selling menswear.

Pierre Cardin, Jaqk and Izac all proved worthy of our attentions, and I succeeded in buying a shirt – oh OK, 3 shirts – and a cardigan. Damon also came away with 2 jumpers and 2 shirts.

Of course, that’s only part of our autumn wardrobe sorted.

We’re back in Brighton next month to see Alison Moyet in concert, so we may be able to squeeze in a visit to T K Maxx while we’re in town. Well, it would be rude not to.

Photo © McArthurGlen

This entry was published on Sunday, 1 October 2017 at 08:32. It’s filed under Places and people and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

14 thoughts on “Home truths: shopping around

  1. Your candor really made me smile …. one really can’t beat designer labels at basement prices and I am very happy that you have found yourself a McArthur Glen to fill the gap left by TK (or TJ as it is in the US where I passed far to many hours rummaging happily and bearing my stash triumphantly home to the amusement of my husband, last year). I miss Charity Shops most of all … coming from Oxford we have fantastic ones with next to new bargains of high end designer delights. There are none here at all …. I wonder idly if I could start a thing?

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    • French do not like second hand things. I for one would never be able to wear something that someone else has worn, no matter how beautiful or how often I washed it. Just a cultural thing.

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      • I have to admit I am not one for second-hand clothes either, much less second-hand shoes…

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      • Of course it is cultural and I respect your feelings and those of the French (and indeed many Brits) who feel the same way. But I don’t think it is ingrained everywhere … I spent large amounts of time with my Parents-in-Law at their home near Arles in the 80s and 90s and then lived a year in Juan les Pins a few years back and les Frips were very popular and most of what they sold was clothing. À chacun son goût I’d venture 🙂

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    • Yes, we were surprised by the lack of charity shops. There was a second-hand clothes sale here in Lille yesterday. There was a door charge and people were queuing to get in. Maybe there is a business opportunity there…

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      • I’ve pondered this for several years now but initially thought it was because I was living in the depths. Now that I am in a City, and the same is true and bolstered by this comment, I do think there could be. For discussion 🙂

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    • I miss UK charity shops too. Much of my house is furnished from them

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  2. I so wish we had one near us. I need new linens and either they are crap or exorbitant.

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  3. I so wish that we could find a few shops here for bedding etc

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  4. Ooooooo! Me likes an outlet shop! Ha ha!

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  5. I do miss outlet centres and shopping centres in general but I’ve learned to do without and look forward to a shopping splurge once or twice a year. I do order online but many places are already stopping shipping to France from UK so we will see what happens!

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  6. Interesting that they call it TJ Maxx and Homegoods here in the States. And they’re my favorites here. And the Outlets with their 30 to 50 stores are everywhere. My favorites are Off Fifth (Saks) and Nordstrom’s Rack.

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