Roses is a colourful oasis of shopping and savings with a view of the sky

Radio show host and blogger Andrea Andrassy was caught shopping in our outlet this weekend. Here’s what she had to say…

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Shopping in an outlet is one of my favourite shopping experiences, and ever since Roses Designer Outlet opened its doors, all these gorgeous bags, shoes, jackets and sweaters at incredibly discounted prices are no longer so inconveniently far away… Some place across the border. All those gorgeous things now live just a half an hour’s drive from Zagreb.

But you don’t go to Roses merely to mindlessly buy stuff and count how much money you saved in comparison to what you would have spent if buying at the original price (although that can indeed be very amusing) – going to Roses is a real road trip.

As opposed to closed shopping malls we usually leave in utter astonishment because we didn’t realize it’d already gotten dark outside while we’d been browsing, Roses is a beautiful small town. Instead of boring, long hallways we are used to seeing in malls, Roses is interlaced with lovely small streets, so you can take a stroll down Paris Street or cross Zagreb Square, New York Square and Milan Square to proceed all the way to London Street. It’s these little things that make you very happy while you’re moving on from one store to another because you can’t shake off the feeling that while travelling around these lovely cobbled streets, you are actually travelling around the globe, making no more than just a few steps.  There are also all these beautiful buildings, which are in fact adorable little freshly-painted houses – each of a different colour. It’s why the whole outlet reminds me of London’s Portobello Road. And of course, what I love the most is the fact that you can actually see the sky while walking around this colourful oasis of shopping and savings, which means you breathing the fresh air of Zagorje.

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Stores? After seeing their stunning fronts, it is hard to imagine they could get any better when you go inside, but they do.  Nike Factory Outlet is always my first destination because the store is large, spacious and full of quality sportswear. When I’m there, I always swear myself I’ll start going to a gym, something I never follow through on, but, luckily, I do wear everything I buy. This is the ideal starting point if there’s a man tagging along. However, after Nike, I always split from the male company and go my own way. First I hit the store named Karla. It is the home of the most beautiful shoes in the whole wide world, and then I go to Calzedonia. Of course I have a fair amount of underwear, but with all those fair prices, it just seems so unfair not to have an even fairer amount of it.   Women will know what I am talking about. A brief visit to Timberland where the waterproof, warm boots cost half the price of those in regular stores and we’re ready to hit the stores from Milan Square to London Street. There’s an XYZ outlet store and a Yammamay, where the nightdress I recently checked out suddenly seems to be more wallet-friendly. And then, a stopover at Calvin Klein and a rendezvous with the most beautiful suede blue boots over at Hilfiger.  I was checking them out at a store this spring, but it somehow didn’t feel right to pay all that money for a pair of blue boots which didn’t go with most of my stuff because everything was black.  In the meantime, I reduced the amount of black in my closet by half, while Roses took in precisely these boots and reduced their price by half, so now they live in my closet and wait for our first walk. Upon leaving Hilfiger I ran into my male half, so we sat at the restaurant on Rome Square. You work up an appetite with all these discounts.

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Half an hour later, it’s time for the second round of shopping. I am heading towards Diesel and Shooster across New York Square, but I choose to make a brief detour at the Roses market where local family farms present their skills. One Silvaner, a bit of home-made bacon and one serving of beans to-go later, I am ready to continue. Those Diesel jeans at slashed prices I have been listening about in the “Chronicles of Foreign Shopping“ really do exist and I safely stored them in my closet. On my way to Shooster, I also stopped at Duvetica, a store where you can find the warmest jackets in the world, and they come in all the colours of the rainbow. Shooster tends to get pretty crowded. It is because the most incredible Nike trainers can be found at the most incredible discounts. A little down the street, Shoe Box offers shoes anyone would want in their collection. It is where I bought a pair of beautiful summer slippers. They cost me… a fortune and upon hearing the price I thought about paying for them in monthly instalments.  Ten kuna (10, no typo), but you get an extra 20% discount at the checkout. It turned out the final price was eight kuna (8, no typo). A pair of shoes for 8 kuna? It can’t get any better, if you ask me.

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And of course, there’s the inevitable Algoritam. A number of malls close down their bookstores and favour other, more popular shops, but Roses’ Algoritam outlet proudly stands and offers great books at even better prices.  I never leave Roses without buying at least one book.

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With bags full of stuff and my wallet feeling only slightly thinner, I’ve headed towards the parking lot, accompanied by the smell of roasted chestnuts wafting from New York Square. I will be coming back in December to do some Christmas shopping, if not sooner.

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