Shopping

Best book shop: Exclusive Books
Oh, how we love this shop! There’s nothing better than losing a few happy hours browsing the shelves and finding the new releases in our favorite genres, all with a cappuccino in hand (most stores feature an inhouse coffee shop). But even if you’re not an ardent book worm, Exclusives should be a first stop when you’re gift shopping. There are so many ideas, from beautiful stationery to puzzles and quirky games. – www.exclusivebooks.co.za, 0800 332 550

Best bicycle shop: Game

Most people already know that Game offers great prices and an almost unbeatable range of household items – but did you know that these attributes apply to everything bicycle-related, too? Apart from big name bikes, you’ll find a full range of accessories and maintenance items, as well as kids’ bike and MTB gear. – www.game.co.za

Best bridal shop: Bride & Co

Forget the venue or anything else for that matter: for most brides, the best part of planning a wedding is selecting a dress. And Bride & Co is here to make that choice the exciting experience it should be, with skilled consultants on hand to steer you towards a gown that will suit your style, your occasion and your budget – and hundreds of options to choose from. They’ll hook up your entire party with outfits for the ‘before’ events, too. – www.brideandco.za

Best computer/electronics store: Incredible Connection

It really doesn’t matter if you have no idea what a gigabyte is or if your tween son can’t get you to understand Minecraft – the team at Incredible Connection will help you cut through the jargon to find what you need, whether that’s a power solution for your WFH office or a gaming chair to enhance your experience. The range is simply enormous! – www.incredible.co.za

Best factory shop: Adidas Factory Shop

Who doesn’t love the brand with three stripes? When it comes to active wear innovation and on trend styling, no one does it better. Now, imagine being able to get all that at a fraction of the usual Adidas price, and it’s easy to see why we love Adidas’s outlets. You’ll find a huge variety of prints, patterns and looks for ages four and up, whether you’re on the hunt for sportswear, puffers, trainers or just a great athleisure outfit. – www.adidas.co.za

Best florist: Boksburg Floral & Gift Boutique

Imagine a photo frame fashioned from flowers, or a belt crafted from chrysanthemums. Impressed? It’s all in a day’s work at Boksburg Floral & Gift Boutique. The shop can create just about everything floral you can think of, whether you’re looking for a statement matric corsage, a bouquet to express sympathy, a flower crown or something to pretty up your house. There’s a large array of hampers, teddies and other gifts, too. – www.boksburgfloral.co.za, No 11 C Klavier Road, Sunward Park, Boksburg, 1459, 011 917 7982

Best forecourt store: BP Greenstone

You might not be surprised to learn that BP Greenstone was recently named one of the top three coolest petrol stations in South Africa. We certainly weren’t – when you need to fuel up your car, you can also fuel up on refreshment at the Wild Bean Café (try one of the icy freezos to beat the summer heat) or pick up those last-minute groceries at the Pick n Pay Express Store. – https://www.facebook.com/bppnpeden/, 202 Van Riebeeck Avenue, Cnr Edenmeadows Edenvale, Opp. Greenstone Shopping Center, Edenvale, 011 452 6042

Best furniture store, best gift shop for life’s little luxuries, best home décor and best kitchen essentials shop: @home

Everyone loves a little spoil – whether that’s a gourmet treat for the pantry, a gorgeous home fragrance, or an eye-catching photo frame. @Home’s large range means that you’ll find something to suit the taste of just about everyone in your life – after all, who doesn’t enjoy beautifying their space. Browse around and you’ll probably find something for yourself, too! – https://bash.com/homewarestore

Best garden centre and best hardware store: Builders Warehouse

Got a small DIY project, like fixing a door off its hinges? Maybe you’re working on something bigger, like building your own treehouse; or perhaps you simply want to spruce up the garden. You’ll find whatever you’re looking for at Builders, along with a team of highly knowledgeable staff to make sure you get the most out of your purchase. The team is also available to provide a host of services, from cutting keys and mixing paint to testing pool water and cutting glass, tool hire and even kitchen design – plus, they’ll deliver, too. – www.builders.co.za

Best health shop and best pharmacy: Dischem

Many of us find the thought of embracing a healthier lifestyle daunting. That’s why you need to pay your nearest Dischem a visit before you even start. You’ll find helpful staff who will advise you about the best supplements, exercise equipment, super foods and recovery aids – and you can even treat yourself to some indulgent beauty products to celebrate your fitness wins while you’re at it. PS – download the DeliverD app, and you’ll get your order within an hour. You’ll also be able to ask about OTC meds, scripts and everything else you might need for ultimate wellbeing. – www.dischem.co.za

Best medical facility: Life Bedford Gardens Hospital

No one likes being in hospital, but if that’s where you find yourself, the calibre of care you receive makes a big difference. This is where Life Bedford Gardens Hospital distinguishes itself: the nursing staff are all highly skilled and set a new standard in terms of compassion. With specialists in 28 medical and surgical disciplines, six theatres, two ICUs and a radiology unit, you know you’re in good hands. – https://www.lifehealthcare.co.za/hospitals/gauteng/johannesburg/life-bedford-gardens-hospital/, 7 Leicester Road, Bedford Gardens, Bedfordview, 2008, 011 677 8500

Best motorcycle dealership: BMW East Rand

Sheer Driving Pleasure comes standard – of course. But apart from that, you can also look forward to expert advice from highly experienced consultants. Apart from guiding your purchase, they’ll also be able to make sure you get the most out of your service, or provide assistance with BMW Finance – all so that you can enjoy driving one of the most beautiful vehicles on the road. – https://www.bmw.co.za/east_rand, 126 North Rand Road, Bartlett AH, Boksburg 011 418 3300

Best law firm: Hammond Pole Attorneys

If there was a term to define Hammond Pole Attorneys, it would be ‘solutions oriented’. Since it was established more than 40 years ago, the firm has grown to include four branches, assuring its strong presence on the East Rand. With a special focus on conveyancing and property law, debt collection and recovery, general litigation, divorce law, family law, drafting laws, labour law and commercial and contractual law, Hammond Pole has you covered. – www.hammondpole.co.za

Best online shopping site: Takealot.com

We have a rule: if you can’t find what you’re looking for in a bricks and mortar store, look for it on Takealot.com. The site has an astounding array from products, from day to day home essentials to the truly obscure (need a 30-pack of scrunchies in Barbie pink?) It’s super easy to navigate the site, delivery is often quicker than expected, and shopping is an all round pleasure. – www.takealot.com

Best optometrist: Spec-Savers

Spec-Savers does more than look after your eye health. It’s a one-stop boutique for anything optical: shop for designer frames online, find the best sunglasses for your face shape, or even book a hearing test. What we love most is Spec-Savers Home Try On offer, ideal for the indecisive: if you just can’t pick the perfect frames, take home six pairs and take your time choosing which looks best. – www.specsavers.co.za

Best pet shop: Crazy Pets

Welcome to pet heaven! Want to spoil your doggo with a new chew toy? Or looking to am up your kitty’s nutrition? Whatever your beloved critter needs, you’ll find it here, including grooming products, treats, puzzles to chase away the boredom blues and general products, like cage cleaner and clothes. Check out the website for promotions and specials. – www.crazypets.co.za

Best plasticware: Westpack

Think of a product. Any product. Chances are you’ll find it at Westpack. Get your home office more organized, discover cool accessories for any room in your house, find unique gifts and accessories for your pets and more – the range is nothing short of astonishing. We bet you’ll leave with far more than you had planned! – www.westpacklifestyle.co.za

Best outdoor/camping store: Cape Union Mart

There are those for whom a camping trip means getting as far away from civilization as possible – and there are those who insist on comfortable mattresses, enough utensils to kit out a restaurant kitchen, and outdoor gear that’s as stylish as it is practical. Cape Union Mart caters to both types of happy campers, which is why it’s our go to when we want to spend time in nature. – www.capeunionmart.co.za

Best shopping centre: Eastgate Shopping Centre

Born to shop? Get ready to satisfy your retail whims: with more than 250 shops to choose from, you’re certain to find everything you could need, from essentials to those indulgences that make life that much sweeter. Once your shopping bags are full, head to the outdoor piazza, where you’ll find a host of different cuisines and dining experiences. – https://www.eastgateshops.com, 43 Bradford Road, Bedfordview, 011 479 6000

Best sporting goods store: Mr Price Sport

Swimming, cycling, skating, running, weights…The list goes on and on. You’ll find a huge range of accessories for a large number of sporting codes at Mr Price Sports, but what we really love is the gorgeous active wear. Look out for sets in beautiful patterns, that perform as hard as you do. There are some great casual weekend looks on the hangers, too. – www.mrpsport.com

Best thrift shop: Cash Converters

Thrifting might be a relatively new hobby for many, but Cash Converters has been a treasure trove of pre-loved goods for around 30 years. It’s undoubtedly the brand’s huge choice that’s made it the leader in its field: Cash Converters has every possible category of products covered, from babycare to electronics, tools, antiques, gaming and kitchen appliances. They’ll organise a loan if you need one, and with a six month guarantee on all products, you can buy with confidence. – www.cashconverters.co.za

Best stationery, and arts and crafts store: PNA Colour Your World

We bet that even if you’re not a crafter when you walk into PNA, you’ll leave itching to try your hand at a new hobby. The shop is an explosion of colour and creativity, stocking everything from the office basics to items for pastimes you probably didn’t even know existed. A must visit, whether you’re doing a back to school shop, looking for a gift, allowing your imagination to take flight or simply stocking the stationery cupboard. – www.pna.co.za