This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
$1 buys you full access to ALL of TheStreet's Subscription Services! Learn More

Outlet Malls A Big Hit For Back-to-school Shoppers

Stocks in this article: GPSSKTWMT

ELLEN GIBSON

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Parents have a new goal this back-to-school shopping season: Buy their kids the name brands they want without spending like it's 2007.

After the recession began in late 2007, cost-conscious consumers sought out the cheapest shirts and shoes they could find at merchants like Wal-Mart and Target to keep their budget in check. But these days, value is the name of the game.

Shoppers who are just as concerned about style and quality as price are flocking to factory outlets, where they can snag Gap, Nike, Vans and other designer clothes and accessories for 25 to 70 percent off. In fact, a quarter of parents said they plan to do the bulk of their back-to-school shopping at factory outlets and discount stores, compared with just 16 percent planning to do so at malls, according to the American Express Spending and Saving Tracker.

"I still want the brand names," says Lisa Santa, who took a break from her vacation recently to hit the Jersey Shore Premium Outlets to find a first-day-of-school outfit for her third-grade daughter. "So I came here hoping to get lower prices on quality stuff."

It's a major shopping shift from the recession, when many Americans shunned pricey designer labels in favor of dirt-cheap buys. Now, they're back to shopping for brand names as the economy slowly recovers, but are still unwilling to pay full price for Guess jeans and Oakley sunglasses because of worries about high unemployment and stock market volatility. As a result, clothing sales were up 18 percent year-over-year in July at factory outlets __ more sales growth than every other retail concept except warehouse stores, according to research firm NDP Group.

During the back-to-school season, which runs roughly from mid-July through mid-September, there's a big opportunity for outlet centers to cash in on the trend. The average family with kids in grades kindergarten through 12 plans to shell out $604 for clothes, school supplies and electronics this year, according to the National Retail Federation. For college students, who also need dorm furnishings, the budget is $809. Both figures are a few dollars lower than last year, but combined will still amount to $69 billion for retailers -- and outlet stores are expected to capture a large portion.

1 of 4

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,827.75 +12.81 0.07%
S&P 500 2,072.83 +5.80 0.28%
NASDAQ 4,787.3170 +29.0650 0.61%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs