Jul 11, 2014

Outlet malls are nowadays one of the most visited shops on the US market. The number of outlet stores is still growing and statistically each American visits an outlet store at least 3 times a year. How did this trend start?

Outlet malls have their history and it doesn´t start in China

One could guess that outlet malls and outlet stores have arisen with the growth of Chinese market and their factories full of low quality goods.  Well, even if these two global trends might go hand in hand, American outlet stores have longer history.

Outlet stores used to equal low quality merchandise

Outlet stores were originally stock facilities where you could come and watch the manufacturing process. They were usually located in less attractive parts of the city and you could buy pieces for very low prices, mostly because they had some defects or were made with poor quality.

QUESTION: Who were the first people shopping in the outlet store? Find answer here.

So, outlet stores have been here “since ever”. What changed that only recently they became one of the fastest-growing segments of American retail?

Nowadays outlet malls look a bit different – they no longer look like warehouse outlets. Rather they resemble normal retail malls, except for restaurants and movie theatres that are traditional part of American shopping malls. You don’t eat nor watch a movie in an outlet mall; you just go for the good price!

Outlet shopping has changed for the better

Shopping in outlet mall is also no longer a risk for the low quality of offered merchandise. You can still find slightly defective items on the shelves, but together with off-season, seconds or even brand new pieces. It is now a place where you can find very good deals!

What used to be one poor store here and there has now become a luxury mall you find in every major city or state in the United States.

So the idea of outlet malls comes originally from the United States, but the nature of outlet stores has changed since the early years, just as shoppers did. When did you first shop in an outlet? Share your experiences with us in Comments.


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