As a former business consultant who worked with retail stores, this is one of those questions that falls under my area of study. While malls might list themselves as outlet malls, that does not mean that all of the stores inside are actual outlet stores. The industry standard is that at least 40% of the stores inside need to be actual outlet stores.
There are some states that have higher requirements than this. In Wisconsin, for example, a mall must be mad up of at least 70% outlet stores to be considered as an outlet mall. Many outlet stores have a slightly different name than the regular stores that they are connected to.
A perfect example is Nordstrom's outlet is called, Nordstrom Rack. Others will list in the front windows that they are an outlet store, while some will not, and will just display the fact that every rack has a sale or clearance placard. Most retailers will list if they are selling factory seconds.
With the number of stores that buy up seconds, there usually is nothing left over for the outlet stores anymore. Sam's Club, Cosco, and dollar stores have cornered that market. Mostly, outlet stores are made up of clearance that needed to be moved out of stores, overstock, or accident orders (where someone goffed and ordered two truckloads instead of two pallets, and no one checked it).
Some outlet stores will still have full-priced merch, but this will all be the latest trend merch, adn will not take up much of the store. For the most part, outlet malls are going to have the merch that you would have found in the full-priced stores a year or two ago at full price. Unless you are looking at a fad trend, no one will really know the difference.
Plus, you might find current trends at a major discount if an over order was made. Prior to my years as a business consultant (and currently as a writer), I was a retail manager, district manager, and buyer. I learned the rules that are usually followed by larger outlet stores.
I learned that the average person will save a ton of money by going to the outlet stores over the regular stores. In the 1980s, when more stores started opening outlet stores, it was due to the fact that fads were changing so fast that many big retailers were overwhlmed with clearance racks that held, "last month's big thing. " Today, there are very few fads in comparison to twenty five years ago.
The stores still hold on to the outlet stores since they are a great way to move old product. Also, since there are not many fads anymore, no one will know that the clothes that you are buying were in the big stores a year or two ago. For a basic pair of jeans, can you tell the difference between the ones in teh big stores today, and the ones from a few years ago?
Can you tell the difference between a pair of underwear? Maybe a cartoon t-shirt? I spent a long time as a retail buyer, and I can't!
Only when it comes to fads (which again, we rarely have anymore).mahalo.com»
Outlet malls are wonderful! They often sell same clothes at a discount and sometimes at several discounts. The clothes are brand new like in the store.AT the most, they may be stuff that was left over from a season or didn't sell but it's still that store's brand.
I have gotten as much as 70% off and there is no difference in the clothes or the condition. The best way is to take yourself an allowance and to go to outlet malls where you have lots of choices. You will always save money.mahalo.com»
Honestly, there are times in my opinion an outlet store is not that great of a bargain. Sometimes items are only 5-15 percent off. Now if you do choose to go to an outlet store, make sure the items are at least 40 percent off or higher.
The items sold at an outlet store are usually overstocks, past seasons, or slight imperfections(wrong button colors, short zipper, etc). You can save substantial money at a regular store too. I purchased two pairs of shoes recently at Kohls.My total came to $15 dollars(they were on clearance), but because I had a $10 off coupon from the mail, my total....... a whole $5!
I don't think I would have even found that type of deal at an outlet store. With smart shopping, you can save money anywhere you choose to shop. Good luck :).mahalo.com»