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The Herzliya Pituah mall in the heart of the high-tech office district, between whispering fountains and luxury tub-and-tile stores, last week hosted the opening of a new clothing center that will sell mainly manufacturers' surplus goods. The idea for the center was inspired by similar factory outlet centers overseas, but not surprisingly the local center has a long way to go.

Unfortunately, no real designer clothes are on sale here as in stores in New York. For now there are surpluses of more popular manufacturers, but it is likely that success at the mall will attract the wares of more exclusive companies in the future.

The mall, located in the heart of Herzliya (at 85 Medinat Hayehudim St.) brings together a long list of stores, including Castro, Lee Cooper, Hagara, Ouiset, Fox, Matim Li, Jump, Honigman and even Sifri, which sells new books at a discount.

From a visit to the mall last Sunday after the center had been open over the weekend, it was evident that the masses had swarmed through the stores. The workers in all the stores were busy sorting clothes from huge piles and arranging them on the shelves.

The selection on the shelves explains why these stores are called surplus outlets - tank tops with only one shoulder strap and a wavy neckline, low-cut khaki pants with very colorful zippers down the sides, bright turquoise tricot tops. However, anyone with a lot of patience to rummage through the piles will also find bargains among the seconds. The salespeople say that new merchandise is brought in at least once a week.

The price cuts are quite impressive. At the Castro store, for example assorted items are five for NIS 125 and five tricot tops cost NIS 99, but finding five suitable items may not be so easy. Most of the tops are size 1, which might fit slim model Sandy Bar, but even she would prefer to change into something looser and more comfortable as soon as the photo session is over. The other items in the store include shorts that are very suitable for teens, tank tops and cotton pants from last season - a tempting opportunity perhaps, but not exactly what's on our minds in the middle of summer.

The Fox store also calls itself a half-price surplus store, with all the items priced from NIS 19 to NIS 29. Teens and children will find just what they're seeking - low-cut cotton drawstring pants, numbered T-shirts, checkered thongs and stylish bags.

The Lee Cooper store is selling men's khaki or denim pants for NIS 50 a pair, and reveals the wondrous creations designed for women - scrubbed pants with glued-on sprinkled sand or sparkling beads, fringes, rivets and numbers stamped at the ankles.

Honigman's surplus outlet will satisfy women seeking high-cut pants in dark colors and a good selection of white cotton tops (but not at a discount, at about NIS 120 per top), and Jump offers the selection closest to that of a designer store: dresses and pants made of less common fabrics.

Safari is selling new books for around NIS 50 instead of NIS 76, as well as computer games at half price. There is also a store for maternity clothes and the Matim Li store has a good selection of its surplus goods.

In conclusion, this is an ideal place to shop if you have teenagers at home who need fashionable clothing in real time, of if you have some spare time and can afford to visit the center every week - and it would be best to go in the middle of the week, after the stores have recuperated from the weekend.