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Outlet Stores

by Ira Lanes
June 03, 2009
Outlet stores are retail stores where manufacturers sell their products directly to the buying public. Outlet stores may be based online or may be actual physical locations. By tradition, outlet stores are attached to either a warehouse or a factory. These stores are often grouped together in outlet malls.

An outlet mall is a shopping mall where manufacturers sell their products straight to the public through their own branded stores. The most common type of items being sold in these stores includes clothing, electrical products, cosmetics, sporting goods and toys.

Outlet stores are usually found in out of the way locations to minimize the overhead costs and to fulfill legal requirements. Manufacturers may have contractual obligations to retailers that require the former to minimize competition with the latter. This is why outlet malls and stores are found some distance away from most of the major cities.

Outlet stores and malls have spread from North America to the European Union to Asia. The internet has also become the new frontier for outlet stores as the costs are much, much lower compared to a brick and mortar establishment. Online outlet stores are also able to reach a wider audience compared to physical locations.

If you are constantly looking for great bargains and deals, outlet stores are definitely right for you. These stores sell their stock by as much as 70% cheaper than regular retailers. You have the choice of going to a free standing outlet store or for greater convenience, to an outlet mall so you can have a wider selection of goods and brands.

Quality is always an issue with consumers. No one wants a shoddily made product. The items at outlet stores vary in quality. Some are first rate, top notch quality items. The catch is, some of these items may have been discontinued or overstocked. Then there are those which function perfectly well except for the fact that they have minor cosmetic flaws.

The flaws on these products will not hinder the items from functioning as they should. However, retailers are leery of taking them and selling them as most consumers would ignore a flawed model over a perfect one.

One of the reasons consumers can enjoy the much lower cost of outlet stores is because the middleman or middlemen have been cut out. This is definitely to the advantage of consumers.

Brick and mortar outlet stores have certain advantages over online outlet stores. In a brick and mortar establishment, a buyer can go over an item and check if there are any flaws or if the product does not work perfectly. An online outlet store does not give the buyer that facility. However, an online outlet store offers conveniences as well. Buyers no longer have to make the trip to an out of the way location to enjoy the benefits of shopping.

There are advantages to shopping online as well as to actually visiting the physical location of the store. Choosing how you will shop at outlet stores depends entirely on your preferences and needs. Evaluate your needs and preferences before deciding on making the trip outside the city or if online shopping is the way for you. If you are deciding on an item that needs close inspection, visiting the site may be a better choice. If not, you may choose to shop online at your convenience.


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