Do outlet stores sell low quality


Do outlet stores sell low quality goods

While many retailers have been struggling during the recession,outlet malls are expanding building new malls and signing up newretailers.

Outlets can save you big money as much as 70 percent,according to our partners at Consumer Reports Magazine.

But what about the quality? The magazine recently investigated,comparing outlet merchandise to similar items at designer retailstores, and found some substantial differences.

But how good is the merchandise? Jody Rohlena of Consumer Reports ShopSmart Magazine said, “some outletscarry the exact same items as regular retail stores, but othersdon’t. The differences can be big or small.”

Consumer Reports compared prices of two clothing outfits, onebought from retail stores, the other from merchandise speciallymade for the outlet stores.

The retail outfit totaled $771. T he one from the outlets was $312, less than half the cost. The Skirt

They started with a Banana Republic skirt that cost $79retail and $30 at the outlet. But they found differences. said, “the outlet skirt has a bit of polyester in it. Soit’s machine washable, which is cheap jerseys convenient. But the flagship skirtis less likely to pill and it has a lot nicer lining.”

Quality Winner: Mall Store.

The Blouse

They also bought a J Crew blouse for $88 retail and about $48 atthe outlet. Rohlena said, “both blouses are made of puresilk. But the edges of the ruffles on the outlet store blouse aremore likely to fray.”

Quality Winner: Mall Store

The Handbag

And then there were the two Coach bags: $448 retail, $130 at theoutlet. If you’re shopping for price alone, the outletsalmost always win,” said And it’s not bad quality,it’s just not quite the same quality as the full retailversion.

One last caution: Consumer Reports ShopSmart says be aware thatreturn policies at outlets can be stricter than retail stores, soyou want to be sure to check the policy when shopping.