What is an outlet store? An outlet store is a privately owned and operated retail shop that sells products from specific manufacturers directly to consumers, usually in the area in which the manufacturer operates their business. Unlike shopping malls and traditional retailers, outlets carry only those products that are directly sold by the brand name manufacturer. However, many stores do not carry all of the manufacturer’s lines.
Outlets often display clothes, hats, shoes and jewelry produced by a particular manufacturer. In an effort to increase consumer demand for their products, outlet stores have developed strategies to attract customers by displaying limited-edition and back-to-back product lines. Retailers use these tactics to draw in new customers as well as retain existing ones. For instance, during the Christmas season many consumers travel to an outlet store to purchase gifts for their family and friends. The manufacturer wishes to guarantee the sale of certain items, so they place a limited-edition hold until such time as the item sells out.
Some manufacturers, like Wrangler, employ a store inside a shopping mall. Others, such as Victoria’s Secret, locate their outlet stores on the same block as the department store where they operate their business. Nonetheless, many independent retailers operate their stores in any way that makes sense to them. Often, they offer specialty items not available at mass-market retailers and, as a result, gain a loyal customer base that will spend more money with them than they would at the major brands they purchase items from.
An outlet store offers advantages over traditional retail. The biggest advantage is the opportunity to work directly with the brand you love. You don’t have to coordinate a release date with a manufacture over a period of months; you can simply visit the store to select the merchandise you want. Moreover, you get to pick the store’s merchandiser. While some major brand names frown on direct interaction between the brand and its retailers, some allow their outlet stores to promote the brands favorably.
You won’t see much of the major manufacturer’s merchandise at an outlet store. However, many times you will find exclusive, limited-release items offered by the manufacturer at a discount or for free. If you want a particular brand but can’t locate it in your area or don’t want to wait for an extended period of time to get hold of it, an outlet location could be the ideal solution. Conversely, if you need a specific item and can’t locate it at any other location, an outlet location could prove to be the answer.
The question “What is an outlet store?” continues to be answered as fashion trends change and fads arise. At one time, all outlets offered exclusively licensed or signature items; today, however, many outlets offer a full line of merchandise representing the latest trends. What is an outlet store? It may soon become one of the most popular Internet search terms ever.