Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Johor Premium Outlets

As one slide to a halt to exit at the Skudai toll, the passengers and drivers will have noticed a tall and large billboard at the left hand side of the highway some half a kilometer before the toll house. Its name: Johor Premium Outlets attracts glances that one will wonder how to get there. Well, find your way to Senai Town (Do not go to the direction of Senai Airport) while exiting from Kulaijaya toll if you were to drive from the North. If you begin your journey from South, drive along the old road northwards, passing by Scudai, thence Senai. Leaving Senai town at KM32.2, then enter at the left hand side to Highway E3, and exit shortly just after a few kilometers at 302A where the traffic directional board indicates Johor Premium Outlets at Indahpura, in the district of Kulaijaya.

Johor Premium Outlet sits strategically at the sprawling, undulating low hills of Genting Plantation Bhd. (Formerly known as Asiatic Development Bhd.); the landsize is 44 acres of Oil Palm plantation land, with 3000 parking bays to its name. It is an adventurous and ambitious project jointly owned by the Plantation Company and Simon Property of the US. The joint owners are thus aptly named: Simon-Genting Ltd, which holds the operation of the centre with its subsidiary Genting-Simon Sdn Bhd. A hotel and theme park are in the pipeline nearby but no dateline is set for its construction and operation yet. The centre of Johor Premium Outlet was officially opened on December 2011. It was one of the jump start initiative project for the Johor state government’s holistic Iskandar Projects. Since inception, the Johor Premium Outlets had attracted visitors, both local and foreign, by the thousands everyday, looking for great bargains in buying premium branded apparels and other merchandise. The center offers 25% to 65% savings on selected designer outlets as well as on buck buying. In certain branded stores, customers save up to 70% when buying 3 pairs of pants at one purchase.

My entourage and I were there in the morning on Good Friday i.e. April the 6th, 2012, and throngs of Singapore-registered cars had already occupied more than half of the parking bays by 11am. Anxious travelers made impromptu stops here at the centre before continuing their journey north or south bound. The food court at Johor Premium Outlets serves a variety of delicacies, notably the ever popular Japanese, Korean and even Taiwanese dishes. International beverage outlets StarBucks Coffee, The coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and popular ice-cream vendor Baskin-Robbins are adamant to make their presence felt right away when the centre of Johor Premium Outlets opened late last year. 

I saw score of Japanese alighted from a tour coach at one of the main facades; they were known to be keen followers of branded designer fashions. A Causeway Link bus pulled up shortly after, dropping off a bus load of local passengers at the centre. They could be visitors as well as the staff or personnel working here; I guessed so. A smiling policeman greeted me when I strolled into the Police Base to enquire about the where about of the Information Counter. MayBank and CIMB were quick to set up their branches here; ATM machines definitely provide convenience to customers in time of need when it matters most. The Johor Premium Outlets operate from 10am to 10pm daily. The layout of the various outlets and mall designs are fahioned after those Simon Property outlets in the US. For visitors who have been to USA, it seems all so familiar as one steps foot into Johor Premium Outlets.


Now the big names will certainly awe the eager will be customers in this one stop centre; there are currently 80 international chic and hic, trend-setter brand names here at Johor Premium Outlets: Adidas, Armani, Burberry, Canali, CK Calvin Klein, DKNY, Esprit, Gap, G2000, Guess, Lacoste, Levi, Michael Kors, Nike, Padini, Polo Ralph Lauren, Puma, Salvatore Ferragamo, Timberland, Versace, Zegna and many more. For shoes and apparels, they have Charles & Keith, Clarks, and Vincci, as well as Bonia, Carlo Rino, Coach, Braun Buffel, Fossil and Samsonite of course. What about Watches and Jewelers? Oh yes, they have City Chain, Evita Peroni, Swiss Watch Gallery, and our own Malaysia’s chief Jeweler and Goldsmith outlet Tomei in place. Other enchanting attractions are the Fidani Chocolate, Royal Selangor Pewter centre and The Body Shop outlets etc.


So the next time when you go driving southward, or northward if you are Johor based in Peninsula Malaysia, do make an effort to drop by the Johor Premium Outlets for a tour and visit. Perhaps you will end up enjoying a sumptuous meal there after some worthy purchases. Here the ambience is just totally relaxing, no haste and hurry like in the big metropolitan shopping malls.  I am sure you will be having a great time!

Alan CY Kok

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