I had recently learned about the brand Mitsui Outlet Park from the good publicity it has in the media. The Mitsui Outlet Park had recently opened up in the west of Taipei City. Operated by the Japanese Mitsui Group, the outlet is located in the Taipei Metro area. This is in the Linkou District, a distance of around 40 – 50 minute drive from setting off with a group of friends nearby Taipei 101.
Typically, outlets house many retailers of top brand names with an across-the-board range of products, such items as clothing, sports gear to popular household items. The unique quality of an outlet, (which puts itself above malls and shopping centers), is that outlets are typically much bigger with many of their top branded retailers offering various discounts from anywhere up to 90% off their products.
We arrived at the Mitsui Outlet Park
It looked magnificent, with many big entrances to the complex, the outlet can be roughly divided into two sections, inside and outside section shopping sections. The inside section contains a wide array of shops and a large food court area as well as a supermarket. Also, the outside section extends outward from the Center Plaza. Both sections are 2 stories high and converge in a loop near the plaza area.
Ummm, not really what I had expected
The Mitsui Outlet Park has fantastic and impressive first impressions. Those that had ever visited the Taipei 101 mall in the Xinyi District, can at least agree on the modernized high-class standards that they both closely share. It had a comfortable and luxurious feel towards the environment and facilities. Throughout the building, it wasn’t as crowded as I had initially anticipated for a new shopping center.
As far as any decent outlet goes, we were met with many top branded retailers from every direction, along with all their high-quality products that were subjected to their advertised fantastic outlet discounts.
Then, we were all hit with some disappointment. We noticed most if not all, prices weren’t what they seem. It’s an old retail marketing black-hat trick. Jack your prices up to then put them down to whatever discount percentage off the price to give that outlet feel.
We noticed that most of the top branded retailers within The Mitsui Outlet Park were doing this, which left their prices to be what you’d expect in any of their high stores in Taipei.
After spending a few hours in the so-called outlet, we decided enough was enough of looking around, and get something to eat. Most of my group of friends fancied a burger-based meal, so we didn’t eat at the food court. In fact, we found a really nice-looking restaurant near the entrance, called ‘Kua Aina’, a Hawaiian-themed burger & sandwich restaurant.
The waiting outside before going inside and being asked for your order is about 30 minutes. This is nothing out of the ordinary when waiting for a table at a restaurant in Taipei.
When we finally got in and was given a table, we sat down, ordered, and waited with our soft drinks for about a good 15 minutes until the waiter had come to apologize with some bad news. They had run out of burger buns and politely asked us if we’re okay with slices of bread instead.
No, we weren’t happy. I just couldn’t see myself enjoying a meaty burger as I crunch through the toast. It was just an uncomfortable feeling. To add insult to injury, the people behind us had buns! Confused and upset about this, they had advised us it was yet another mistake of theirs to serve the group behind us first.
We got a full refund (even our half-finished drinks). It was only too late that I had checked the reviews for the burger restaurant, to which most were horrendous. It highlights how important reviews are these days when trying to avoid disappointment from so many seemingly great products and services.
After that ordeal, we ended up eating at the food court. The food court was actually a rather pleasant experience with many delicious food choices and was a lot more spacious and less crowded than many of my previous experiences in the Taipei 101 mall and living mall.
Other than the convenience of having all the branded retailers in one place, there wasn’t much more of a unique value of going to this outlet, which, therefore, was more like an unusually large mall than an outlet in my opinion.
The outlet proved to offer one more modern and beneficial feature with the use of their increasingly smart technology. Every car owner, who parks in the outlet car park of The Mitsui Outlet Park, is provided with a small plastic token. Yes, it’s yet another gimmick to encourage you to spend more. This does, however, prove its usefulness and above the norm of unique services to save you money on your overall car park fees. Moreover, you earn points from any transactions at any retailer or restaurant within the outlet, which adds to your token. You just hand it over to the servicing staff at the checkout to have the earned points added.
Would we go back?
It’s good for rainy day out idea with some friends to look around a huge mall. We have no plans to go back since there’s been no opportunity as of yet. As for making any intended purchases, we don’t find the need to head out that far when you can simply buy at a local mall for relatively the same price.
Phone: 0226 068 666
English Address: No. 356, Section 1, Wenhuasan Rd, Linkou District, New Taipei City, 244
Chinese Address: 244新北市林口區文化三路一段356號
Closest MRT: Linkou Station (purple line)
🗓️ Updated: August 2016 – Taipei.Expats