In today's economy, who doesn't want to go out of their way to find a real bargain?
Outlet malls and factory outlets are the answer to paying retail prices in major cities in the US and around the world.
Thanks to the original outlet store craze that began in America some 40 years ago, today outlet malls are also a major travel destination worldwide. If planned in advance, a trip to the mall can add up to savings on trips to New York to London to Hong Kong...
Outlet travel shopping tips
If you are hitting the road this summer with shopping as a major destination, most experts suggest that you organize your shopping safari by scouting Web directories to locate
outlet malls and to discover what will be on sale when you arrive. Some outlets offer discounts for travel groups who are buying in bulk, while others may schedule special summer sidewalk sales to lure in locals and tourists.
In short, doing your homework before you travel will go a long way in saving time and money BEFORE you hit the mall.
Bargains closer to home
Even if you're not traveling this summer, local bargains are available at any time of year.
Designer clothing outlet malls, along with cameras and electronic gadgets, are usually at the top of most shoppers' lists.
Buying local also means shopping around for free or cheap delivery of bigger
and bulkier items like carpets, furniture and mattresses. Larger kitchen appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators are also best purchased closer to home to save on delivery.
But be careful out there.
With the average savings at discount malls and factory outlets averaging about 37 percent, prudent buying might get you the same percentage on discounts at local department store sales. Word to the wise: For the best bargains, timing is important as outlet sales start around the time local department store sales end.
In the US alone there are more than 200 outlet malls near major cities and travel destinations.
Around the Web, you can go on a virtual trip to the best discount and clearance outlets to window shop for top designer clothing & accessories, and at often drastic reductions. Look for names
like Eddie Bauer, Calvin Klein, Banana Republic, Nike sneakers,
Coach handbags, and lots more.
Online, you can scope out maps and driving directions, opening hours, lists of designers and manufacturers, and special holiday discounts.
Of course, if you prefer to shop clearance specials from the comfort of home save on time and gas with our guide to clearance sales shopping featuring direct links to major department stores' cyber bargain bins and weekly sales.
The idea of
a central outlet location was only exported to the UK in the 90's,
and already Great Britain boasts some 50 or more outlets that
have proved very popular with shoppers. 14 European countries have since followed suit with more than 70 outlet malls across the continent, joined by a growing number in rapidly emerging markets in Eastern Europe.
Also check out Australia outlets where (like anywhere else on the planet), timing is everything - so think HOLIDAY when you shop the designer or factory outlets.
Japan has also wisely built dozens of outlet stores throughout the country with most located not too far from urban centers and major tourist attractions, and selling everything from high fashion to electronics. Already a shopper's paradise, Hong Kong has taken the lead in China by building the now famous
CityGate mall near all major hotels offering ridiculously huge discounts of up to 70% on designer labels.
More about factory outlets and outlet malls around the Web:
Mall Seeker.com - Check out a top directory featuring local maps, comparison shopping and updated information on shopping malls and outlets across the US and Canada.
Bound - Here's an online guide to nationwide U.S. factory outlets
and malls, searchable by location, US map, brand or store name.
Outlet Malls in the USA - Offers a review of the best clothing and fashion outlets in 33 states browseable by US travel region.
Malls.eu - Use the clickable map or browse information on major shopping malls and factory outlets in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany and more.
shoppingvillages.com - The UK directory to factory outlets and shopping villages in England by region also lists Scotland and Southern Ireland with information on shopping times, locations, directions with free registration.
Factory Outlets - Australia's major outlet chain features locations in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and offering bargains on name brand fashions, kids' clothes, handbags, housewares, and more.
Hong Kong shopping till you drop - Here's a complete guide to where to find discount bargains on clothing, electronics, cameras and more including related resources, photos, and related information on Hong Kong weekend markets.
Deadmalls.com - This is an excellent source of information on the demise of popular malls throughout the US with overviews of mall culture, case studies on the retail trade, a dictionary of terms and categories, including related blog updates, photo gallery, links and resources.
US sesigners & department store uutlets, clearance & sales pages: