WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- The outlets are evolving. For example, did you know that most of the merchandise that you'll find at the outlets aren't from a season or two ago? They are brand new.
They also probably never even saw the inside of a flagship store like Nordstrom. The trendy merchandise is made just for these lower-priced spin-offs at prices that are 30 percent to 70 percent below the main store.
Daily Finance reports that a whopping 85% of merchandise at the outlets is made specifically for factory consumers and consumers are loving the bargains.
Outlets have become one of the fastest growing retail sectors in the down economy. Retailers like Nordstrom Rack and the Gap are now opening more outlets than main-brand stores.
There are a couple of things you can do to stretch your dollars when you trek to the outlets:
- Plan your trips. New items come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- You want clearance items. Head straight to the back of the store.
- Stop by the customer service desk first. There you will find a coupon book with extra savings. You can also print out coupons online from the outlet's website before you head to the stores.
- There's an app for that. For example, Tanger outlets (TANG) has an app that tracks your progress around the complex and sends you shopping alerts on your phone.
Finally, it never hurts to avoid the weekend rush. It may not save you money but it could save you from losing your mind.