View Full Version : Outlet malls - worth it?
10-06-2008, 06:12 PM
I have never shopped at outlet malls. Do you think that outlet stores like Gymboree, Gap, and Children's Place are worth going to? Are the prices substantially better than what you'd find in their stores? I'd hate to make the trip if it's not really worth it.
Thanks in advance!!
10-06-2008, 06:34 PM
I love outlet malls, but I don't think they are that much cheaper than the regular stores. Sometimes, depending on the outlet, the quality of the clothes is not as good as what you would receive in the regular store either, there either irregulars, or stuff made of cheaper materials specifically for the outlet. I've found the latter to be the case at the Gymboree outlet and the Gap. The Childrens Place outlet I only shopped at once and I didn't see a difference between that and the regular store. Sometimes though you can find a really good deal on something that is made of 1st quality (made for the actual store). It can be a hit or miss. I like going to the outlet malls that have the big designer stores in it such as Burberry, Coach, Ralph Lauren, Kenneth Cole, etc. just because I would never shop at there regular stores because of the prices, but can find something for a decent price sometimes at the outlet. I think the outlets are fun, if you have never been to one you may want to go and try it out just to see what it is all about. I go maybe once a year if I have the time and the mood strikes me.
10-06-2008, 07:17 PM
IMPO I've never found the Gymboree or Gap outlet stores to have any fantastic deals unless there's a specific sale in progress. TCP is usually a buck or two cheaper per item so if there's a lot of stuff you want, then you could probably save a bundle. I will go out of my way to go to the Osh Kosh and Carters outlets but mainly because of good size selection. The prices are sometimes the same as regular stores sale prices, but usually I can at least save enough to counter balance the cost of gas for driving there.
One outlet I've frequently saved a fair amount of money at is the Stride Right outlet, because I can usually get the shoes at 50% or less what the retail price is.
I just wish they'd put in a Hanna outlet near me...
10-06-2008, 07:45 PM
I live about 8 minutes from an outlet mall (closer than any *regular* mall) and for the most part, I don't think it's worth it unless you're going there anyway. Not so much worth the special trip.
FWIW, we did make a special trip to the Hanna outlet and (at least at that time) I don't think that was worth it. Most everything is either the same price as at the store, or made for the outlets (not as good quality). Once in awhile they will have a discontinued line or great price, but the selection on it won't be as good as the store. Kind of a hit or miss thing.
10-06-2008, 08:10 PM
My bff and I go outlet shopping black friday every year. It is a great bonding experience and neither of our DHs are interested in outlet shopping. We tend to find huge deals, because it is black friday and because we hit all the stores. For one or two items, driving to outlet stores is not worth it, but if you want to save on some big ticket items I would recommend it. I usually shop at coach, off 5th, etc and get great deals.
10-06-2008, 09:39 PM
I don't find lots of great kid stuff at them, but I DO find things for me at Gap/BR outlets when I've got time to try a lot of stuff on. Hartstrings has pretty good 80%off sales whenever I drop in, but I generally don't buy their things. We just had a gift that was too small there, so I had a merch. credit to spend. Their medium hair bows are currently working well.
Something else I like at outlet malls- Corelle's divided plates that a poster here mentioned. They are working well for us. And I 2nd the Carter's outlet with a coupon from the web.
10-06-2008, 10:00 PM
I think it depends on the mall. When I hit the outlet mall, I go to the Albertville outlet in Minnesota. I have gotten terrific deals there for DD, especially at Hanna, Gap, and Old Navy. They have a Gymboree outlet but I'm not in love with the stuff. I prefer to shop the Gymbo sales at their regular stores. Their outlet stuff "looks" like outlet stuff to me, kwim?
Here are some great deals I have gotten for DD at Hanna over the past few years: Storyteller dress for $24, power of a great tee and bike shorts in various colors for $5 each; Beach pants for $12; Snowflake dress for $15; Bear winter coat for $15. These are just a few of the terrific deals- their stuff you can return at any time (to the regular stores too) with a receipt.
Old Navy- a few yrs ago I bought DD a few cable-knit zippered cardigan hoodies for $5.99 each. DD always gets compliments every time she wears them. They look more expensive than they are. I have also gotten their fleece hat/mitten sets there. Plain onesies and other basics.
Gap- went shopping there this past month and they had the brown warmest jackets for $39.99 plus an additional 20% off. I got DD a few pair of corduroy pants for a little over $10 each. A few cable-knit hoodie cardigans for $12.99.
I guess my answer is yes, they are worth it. :)
I think they are worth it if you can go often enough to know when the deals are, but for most people, that is the exception to the norm. There is a Gap Outlet in my city and I don't get there very often unless I am searching for a specific item. I go to the Hanna outlet about twice/ year, but I've walked out with nothing just as often as I've walked out with a ton of great deals.
10-06-2008, 10:12 PM
IME, outlet malls don't usually beat the sale racks at regular stores by that much...factor in gas prices and you might even be losing money. There are some exceptions like the Stride Rite Outlet...I will navigate by there when otherwise close enough to make it worth it. Also I find good deals at Strasbourg Children's Outlet on fancy outfits. Otherwise, not so much. I have never seen a Carter's that was not at an outlet mall. We have a Hanna outlet, but it is not at a mall. We go there every so often...usually during a sale when I have a coupon. It is hit and miss IMO with Hanna.
10-06-2008, 11:34 PM
I tend to agree with the PPs with the exception of 2 outlets, the JCPenny outlets and Vanity Fair outlets. I have gotten great deals in both of them but they have mostly basics and generally not the quality of the higher end stores. Vanity Fair has half off ticket prices on Health-Tex and Lee as well as VF bras, panties etc.
I have never seen a Carter's that was not at an outlet mall.
It must depend on their sales strategy for the region. There is a Carter's Outlet in my city and another in my in-laws' city and they are both in strip malls -- the one in my city is across from a high-end jeweler and next to Sur La Table. There are also Carter's Outlets in 3 nearby outlet malls.
10-08-2008, 01:18 AM
We recently went to an outlet mall and were surprised how few and far between the deals were. We found a great deal on coats for the kids at the Columbia outlet, and I found a ton of cute tees at OshKosh for $1.99 a piece for DS, but other than that, the deals were about the same as a retail store.
10-10-2008, 11:27 AM
Gymbo outlets are good in that you can pick up a few pieces from a line that is is about a year or so old that you really liked...I've got a few things from the gymbo outlet that were just like the originals...I also loved the OshKosh outlet when my DD was little...
10-10-2008, 02:01 PM
It all depends on your timing and what kinds of sales/specials they are having. I have NEVER found anything for an exceptionally good price at the carter, osh kosh or gap outlets for children's clothes. I find good deals at the children's place outlet though, but depending on my timing I can walk into a regular children's place store and sometimes get deals just as good. It's just dumb luck.
I find that when I go to the outlet mall, not to have any expectations. There are times when I end up buying bags of stuff and other times where I may not end up getting anything at all. Just b/c it's an outlet, it doesn't guarantee that prices are cheaper. I am there purely to look for deals and will grab them up when I see them. I've gotten some sweet deals on eddie bauer clothing for myself, so I always stop by just to browse, b/c of my good track record there. I think my best deal at eddie bauer so far was a pr of keens for $25 that were originally almost $90. I don't think it is wise to go there shopping for something specific, b/c most of the time the prices are about the same as the regular retail stores. My most recent discovery was the adidas store. I always thought that it looked expensive, but last time I went, I got really nice running shoes for less than $30 with tax, ones that normally would have cost me $60+ and I found that since it was just THEIR product that I could pick the brain of the sales person and they seemed to be pretty educated about their own shoes. I narrowed it down to two prs of shoes last time I went and finally asked the sales lady for her opinion (shoes were the same price), esp since I have flat feet and she advised me against the trail runners, saying that they offer more support and more support is often not something that ppl with flat feet need. I thought her advice was very good and I appreciated her candor. I like the bali/hanes outlet for bras (passion for comfort by bali is my FAVORITE bra, better than the $70+ bras I got from nordstroms), b/c they are a LOT cheaper than dept stores by close to 50%. I also like the kitchen collection store. Things there are a little bit cheaper than other stores.
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