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September 4th, 2007

Outlet Malls: Hot or Not?

Outlet malls have really changed, haven’t they?

It’s weird, because when I was a kid I remember that the outlet mall was really something different. It consisted of a bunch of no frills stores with dinged up, old merchandise (clothes, shoes, refrigerators) costing a fair sight lower than retail. That was kind of nice.

But now outlet malls are basically just regular malls with a few outlet stores and/or items. They’re almost all outdoor malls, which is convenient in the 95-degree heat, and there are some stores that seem to be at every single one: Gap, Nike, random kitchen store, crappy party store, Carter’s. Weird how that works, isn’t it? And then there’s a Subway or a low-quality pizza place which makes me wonder if their food is outlet food, too.

I still go, though, because there’s the chance I’ll find something good. It just kind of bugs me that I can buy full-price stuff at the outlet mall.

Posted in Consumer Commentary

jk September 5, 2007, 4:04 am

I find it wrong that stores like Bath & Body Works can have stores in outlet centers that are just regular retail stores. It’s misleading!

Pottery Barn’s outlets are definitely worth checking out though. I stay away because I could buy something everytime I visit, something I really don’t need but can’t resist because it’s 80% off the catalog price.

Women Pingers: White House/Black Market now has outlets! They are definitely worth checking out. Ever since they were bought out by Chico’s, I have found their retail stores to be insanely expensive but the outlets are truly discounted.

J Crew’s factory stores are great too–they are the only stores that carry pants long enough for me. Their factory line is made just for the division–similar to items in the catalog but not identical. Great prices to boot.

Merle September 7, 2007, 6:05 pm

I was quite surprised at the prices and selection when I went to a Crate & Barrel elsewhere — because the one near me is, apparently, an outlet/overstock store! I always thought their selection seemed limited, but quite reasonably priced.

The “nearby” outlet malls are about a two hours’ drive from me, so I rarely go. But London Fog coats for 50% can be worth it.

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