For anyone who hasn’t really been bitten by the outlet shopping mall bug yet, it is probably because you aren’t really aware of what kind of great deals you can find. Even if you checked out an outlet mall a few years ago, you may be surprised by how much they have changed.
While the original outlet stores usually had the look and feel of a discount store, that is no longer the case. Some shoppers used to complain that the brands available at your average outlet mall weren’t anything shoppers wanted anyway. Nowadays you can find almost any brand that exists also has an outlet, even those high end designers such as Tory Burch and Jimmy Choo.
Finally while the original days of outlets often left shoppers with nothing to choose from other than damaged or irregular merchandise, this has changed. Many brands offer their own outlet line of merchandise, available at lower price points than full retail. Not to mention much of the full retail merchandise that makes it to the outlet is either past season or the “irregularity” is the color being off from the original design.
In Your Backyard or Your Next Vacation
It’s also true that outlet shopping malls are springing up everywhere across the country, and even the globe. Almost every state now has at least one outlet mall for residents and visitors to shop at. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the places you may expect to find outlet malls, and some of the surprises.
The Usual Suspects
Some places are so known for shopping it would come as no surprise to find out there are actually multiple outlet malls. Here are some of the more popular locations among these places.
- California currently boasts about 23 total outlet mall locations. This actually makes it the state with the most outlet malls, by practically a landslide. While there are many to choose from probably the best known one is Desert Hills Premium Outlets. Some of the high end stores here cannot be found at any other outlet location. You’ll find names including Bottega Veneta, Dolce & Gabbana, Ed Hardy, Kate Spade, Tory Burch and much more.
- Florida may only have 15 outlet malls, but still has only about 300 fewer outlet stores than the state of California. Although there isn’t an outlet right in the fashion Mecca of Miami, you can find one about 30 minutes away at Sawgrass Mills, which has an impressive 264 stores so shoppers can easily make a full day of their outlet shopping trip. You can find pretty much anything you want there including Benetton, Betsey Johnson, Ecko Ultd., Hot Topic and plenty more.
Less Expected Locations
You can literally almost plan any off the beaten path vacation and find outlet shopping. In fact some of today’s most popular destinations for outlet shopping built up their attractions and popularity based on getting traffic from outlets.
- Branson, Missouri was hardly one of the top vacation spots until the outlets came. The area alone has four different outlet malls and has become a popular spot for people to travel to for discount shopping and then enjoy the nightlife that has built up because of it. Stop by Branson Landing for shops such as Bath & Body Works, Claire’s, Hollister, Victoria’s Secret and more.
- Sevierville and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee may finally have gotten a place on the map when Silver Dollar City turned into the much more widely known Dollywood. Since then though it is the range of impressive outlet stores that has brought in regular tourist traffic almost all year round. The Tanger Five Oaks in Sevierville, Tennessee has grown to be a massive complex including fine dining and even other things to see and do there. Some of the shopping options at this location are Bose Factory Store, Crocs, Disney, Juicy Couture, Michael Kors, PacSun, Under Armour and plenty more.
There really are such a vast number of outlet mall locations these days it is hard to go somewhere that doesn’t have one. Even if you didn’t used to have one in your backyard or your favorite travel spot, you probably do by now.
The average vacation these days does now allow for at least one day of shopping, including a stop at the outlet stores. For many shoppers and travelers planning a trip around the outlet mall is not that uncommon. Find out what your local outlet mall has in store for you.