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Outlet Stores That Stock Retail Store Merchandise (or Don't)

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
Inspired by the Polo Outlet Store thread, I would like to ask which outlet stores carry at least some retail store merchandise (previous season, seconds, overruns and etc.).

Polo Ralph Lauren?
Banana Republic?
J Crew?
Barney's?
(Off) Saks Fifth?
Neiman Marcus (Last Call)?
Coach?
Tumi?
Brooks Brothers?

Please feel free to add more names.

Thanks!
post #2 of 39
Polo does stock some of their main line stuff. I've bought purple label shirts, pants, ties, and a suit from the outlet in Primm, buy YMMV at other outlets.

Banana has some of their items from their stores, and some made for their outlets, as Vman said earlier, you can tell from the labels.

Coach outlets have primarily items from their stores.

J Crew has a mix of made for outlet stuff and main line stuff, as far as I can tell. Last year they had some of those Loro Piana cashmere sweaters at the Cabazon outlets.

Barneys, Saks, and NM are dept stores, so they don't usually make items for their outlets afaik. This is true for Nordstrom Rack as well.

Tumi products seem real, and we've already discussed BB.
post #3 of 39
I know for a fact that Coach outlets get quite a bit of overstocked merchandise from their stores. I walked into the Coach store to buy a belt I had seen online a few weeks ago and I was informed that it was the end of the season and all the belts were shipped to the outlets. I found the belt I wanted at the outlet a few days later for a huge discount.

I am also under the impression that Banana Republic outlets stock a mixture of merchandise--some from stores, some made for the outlets.
post #4 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by drizzt3117

Barneys, Saks, and NM are dept stores, so they don't usually make items for their outlets afaik. This is true for Nordstrom Rack as well.

Tumi products seem real, and we've already discussed BB.


Saks, NM and Nordstrom, though also get stuff from other retailers besides their main stores. That explains all the crap you sometimes have to sift through to find good stuff. In fact, I even saw one or two Saks house brand items at a Last Call once, lol. One question: What about those crappy Saks house brand shoes? I don't remember ever seeing them in a retail store, but the outlets are full of them. What's the deal?
post #5 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by DGP
Saks, NM and Nordstrom, though also get stuff from other retailers besides their main stores. That explains all the crap you sometimes have to sift through to find good stuff. In fact, I even saw one or two Saks house brand items at a Last Call once, lol. One question: What about those crappy Saks house brand shoes? I don't remember ever seeing them in a retail store, but the outlets are full of them. What's the deal?

They also get alot of their stuff directly from the manufacturer. Hickey Freeman and a lot of other makers send their "leftovers" to these outlet stores to sell off.
post #6 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
What about those crappy Saks house brand shoes?
You mean "Folio" brand?

I have a pair of antiqued brown, welted derbies (with chiseled, not square, toe shape) made in Italy I rather like. At less than $100 a pair from an Off Saks Fifth store, I thought they were a pretty good value (compared to higher prices Boss, Cole Haan and other such shoes usually found at OSF stores).

But I must admit, I've seen other Folio shoes that were not nearly as attractive (or, in my rather amateur view, not as well-made).
post #7 of 39
NM Last Call does have stuff that is just made for it and never in the regular stores. Saks seems to also. Filenes Basement appears to have stuff that I've never seen elsewhere. As with all shopping regardless of where a lot of careful editing must be done.
post #8 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by drizzt3117
Barneys, Saks, and NM are dept stores, so they don't usually make items for their outlets afaik.

Last time I was at the Saks and NM outlets in Sawgrass Mills, I thought the Hickey Freemans looked strange on me. I looked at the label, and I don't remember exactly the model name, but it wasn't any of the regular model names. And I know that NM does have a cut made for it by HF, I believe that one is just called "Neiman" or "Neiman Marcus." But at the outlets, I recall that the labels had an incredibly generic-sounding model name, like "Jacket." I have to believe that those are destined for outlets from the beginning.
post #9 of 39
i have seen non "346" branded merchandise at Brooks Brothers outlet stores. usually if you go near the end of the season, the outlets will be clearing out stock from their traditionall BB stores.

and i have found (and others) random Purple Label and Blue Label Polo items at the PRL outlet stores.

-Jeff
post #10 of 39
Nordstrom Rack definitely has a mix of merchandise left over from their stores and lower quality stuff just for the Rack.
post #11 of 39
Things may have changed since I had much time to shop at outlets, but I think a lot of it has to do with which outlet stores you hit. It seems to me that the outlets at many of the destination outlet centers (such as Cabazon here in Southern California) are like cheaper (in many cases quality as well as price) versions of outlet malls, where I see more of the made-for-outlet style clothing.

There were specific outlets, though, often more standalone, that had all first-quality merchandise, just overstock, past seasons, etc. A couple of those stores in Secaucus (not sure if I spelled that right) were that way and an Armani store I came across in Vermont or upstate New York (great black label and collezioni stuff at 20% of retail) and the Orvis outlet in Roanoke, Virginia.

Personally, I've always had my best luck at the discount stores (not outlets). When I was in college, the bargain bins at Filene's Basement in Boston turned up many Oxxford and Louis odd jackets for $50-100. But, again, that was some time ago, and things may have changed.
post #12 of 39
The Off5th at Woodbury Commons is the worst. Used to be good, but now has turned into a Hickey Freeman/Ike Behar clearinghouse. I believe that most of their dress shirts and ties are specific to the outlet. End of season yu'll find some legit Saks stuff. NM there is better with a lot of regular Neiman stuff across all depts. Zegna and Hickey outlets also have good merchandise, although their outlet prices leave alot to be desired. Barney's is 80% Barneys private label. Etro outlet is original merchandise, just not a lot of it. Lacoste is a little of both. For those into pots and pans , I love the Williams Sonoma outlet. Doesn't carry every item that the regular store does, but it has a great selection at great prices.
post #13 of 39
Barneys has to be the worst offender. Both the outlet and the warehouse sale is full of stuff that never saw the light of day at the retail store.
post #14 of 39
Anyone been to the NM last call or Off Saks in Arundel Mills, MD? I was thinking of heading over there today after work. Just wnated to pickup a few belts, ties, and pocket squares(unless there is something else that jumps out at me).

Gene
post #15 of 39
i just recently read an article on this somewhere (i can't remember where, perhaps a newsapaper) regarding made for outlet goods v actual goods from the store sent to the outlet

several examples were given and from what i can recall, saks off fifth and nordstroms rack were examples of outlet department stores that have goods made specifically for the outlet along with overruns, overstocks and end of season merchandise from their actual stores

the article mentioned that neiman marcus last call only sells merchandise ordered for their stores, which includes bergorf, but that they do not have merchandise made specifically for their last call outlets - this would of course contradict kitonbrioni's statement above

banana republic/gap/old navy outlet stores have merchandise made specifically for the store along with end of season merchandise and that, however, banana republic clearance centres, of which there are very few, only sell merchandise from the actual retail stores

i believe j crew was another example of a chain with a difference between the outlets and the clearance centres

the coach outlets were an interesting one in that 80% of the outlet merchandise is specifically made for the outlet with the remaining 20% being overruns or end of season merchandise ...... there was a related article that coach actually is in danger of possibly starting to make more money from their outlets than the retail locations and will this water down the brand etc. etc. etc??? but coach maintained that they have two distinct sets of customers, the full retail ones and the outlet shoppers, some of whom have never stepped foot in an actual retail coach store

it's interesting that over the years, the outlets have become more and more full of merchandise made specifically for outlets whereas in the early days, it was the exact opposite

i find the outlets in europe for major names or labels are the best in that they only carry their own first run merchandise, not merchandise made specifically for the outlet, but this is even changing a bit with some designers and the inevitable will happen
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