Jul 11, 2014

Outlet stores have the label of places, where you can shop for very good prices. In this article we will answer the basic question “What is an outlet store?” – for you to be more informed before you start hunting the sales. And at the end we will help you to finding the nearest outlet from your current location.

Outlet store is…

The simplest definition of an outlet is that it is a “store in which manufacturers sell their stock directly to the public” (says Wikipedia).

Outlet store was…

The beginning was simple: Outlet stores arisen because factory owners didn’t want to throw the damaged or excess goods away, so they sold it to their employees for better prices. It didn’t take long and that they started selling to non-employees as well.  

In the 1930´s companies usually had a store attached to a factory or warehouse and customers could watch the production process and buy products for better prices – these were the first outlet stores and this idea is often credited to Harold Alfond, founder of the Dexter Shoe Company.

Outlet store today…

Nowadays outlets are no longer glued to the factory building, but are built independently. The very first “independent outlet store” was built in 1936 for men's clothing brand Anderson-Little. 

The other difference between the former and current outlet store is that today it no longer sells only excess or damaged goods. Truth to say, it was its main purpose but only until 1970´s when the market started changing rapidly.

The “future” started in 1974

The future of outlet mall started in 1974, when Vanity Fair opened the first multi-store outlet center in Reading, Pennsylvania. Since then number of outlet malls kept growing which now makes outlets the fastest growing segment on American retail. Until today there are over 400 outlet malls and 50 000 outlet stores around the United States!

TIP: Read more about Outlet malls!

How to find the nearest outlet store?

Now that you know all about outlet stores, let´s go shopping. The easiest way to find the nearest outlet is to ask your best friend, she knows the place, right? If you don’t have any “shopping queen” around, just click on the outletstoresmalls.com - outlet locator and type in your location. It will give you the list of outlet malls and stores in your area with brands, mall hours, addresses, phone numbers, websites…

Was this article helpful for you? If there is anything else you would like to know about outlet stores, just leave a question in Comments.


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