Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Shopping at Outlet Stores: Is it right for me?

Don't you love getting a deal? There was a Consumer Reports study done a few years ago that concluded that outlets generally provide good deals. Outlets can be great places to shop because you can save money on quality items. If you don't care too much about in-season merchandise, these stores can be treasure-hunting playgrounds. I find that the best experiences come when I have something specific that I am searching for. Finding a major discount on a product that I wanted would make any shopper ecstatic. Recently, I went to an apparel outlet and found a pair of shoes that was $40 (originally priced at $150). I couldn't believe I found such a great deal and it brought me back to shopping at this outlet again.

While finding a great deal at an outlet makes many shoppers happy, the economy's health has forced some people to rely on outlets more and more. Outlets and discounters like Walmart and Dollar General are doing quite well nowadays. Are they crowding out the original players in the Outlet space?

NPR has a pretty good audio clip on outlets and how they came to be. Some outlets sell clothes that are of lower standard, while others are channels for selling overstock or refurbished inventory. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=97750547

If you haven't been to one lately, I suggest that you check out an outlet and see what you think. Let me know your thoughts.

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