Is there anything more delicious than a factory store dedicated to your favourite brand (and, of course, I must mention, a brand worn by the Duchess of Cambridge herself!)? I don’t think so! You might remember I visited the French Sole warehouse sale last October, and came away with five pairs of gorgeous shoes. So, when I heard that there was to be a permanent factory shop, I made plans to visit as soon as I possibly could. I was skeptical that it would be as cheap as the warehouse sale – because, why would it be, when it’s a permanent installation? – but it turned out to be even better than I hoped!
The French Sole warehouse shop might look unassuming from the outside, but inside it’s a bargain boutique that looks amazing, and is full of drop dead gorgeous shoes at rock bottom prices. You can purchase a pair of metallic silver or gold fold up flats for £10, and the bargain bins are full of sample shoes priced at £20 (but these are mostly 37s, I believe). The shoes on display are just £25 each, and boots cost £40! At the warehouse sale, flats were £20 and quilted flats were £40, so I think, on balance, the shop is cheaper by far. With these crazy prices, no wonder I came away with a couple of amazing pairs! Okay, maybe more than a couple… Maybe six…
I’ll be revealing my gorgeous purchases one by one over the following weeks – I’m calling them my ‘holiday collection’, because I came away with sequins, velvet, lush green, vibrant red, bows and jewels! Here’s a small sneak peek:
The French Sole factory store is open every Friday from 10am to 4.30pm at Lambs Farm Business Park, Basingstoke Road, Swallowfield, RG7 1PQ. They get fresh deliveries every week, and carry end of lines, discounted styles, press samples, factory samples, and catwalk shoes. They also carry London Sole shoes, which is the company’s name in the US, so don’t be put off if you pick up a London Sole pair – they’re the same shoes, same company, just a different name! The shop takes cash or card. And, there’s a very nice farm shop just up the road where you can have lunch if the fancy takes you – or if you want to make a day of it, pop into Reading city centre, which isn’t far at all!
Some small words of caution: you really need to visit this store in person to try these shoes on properly, unless you have a twin sister with the same sized feet as you – who somehow has such sisterly love for you that she’ll sacrifice up her bargains to pass along (I don’t think so… Am I right, girls? Ha!). I came away with shoes in sizes 39, 39.5, 40 and 40.5. French Sole shoe sizes vary from model to model, and with factory samples, you can never be 100% confident with your usual size until you put them on! I truly don’t think you’d save money trying to get someone to pick some up for you, as £25 is only a bargain if the shoes actually fit… Also, there are no exchanges, returns or refunds, as this is a factory store (this is very common policy for these kind of discount shops).
All of this information was correct at time of writing, but I can’t guarantee that the prices or opening hours will remain the same – if you have any doubts, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help!