Most people identify outlets as being less expensive than retail stores. While this is generally true, the reasons for the price differences can vary. The way an outlet store is supplied could be from overstocked merchandise at retail locations, discontinued inventory, damaged or irregular products, or items made specifically for outlet locations.
Overstocked and Discontinued Inventory
Retail stores change inventory regularly to offer their customers enough variety to keep them coming back. Usually, this isn’t a problem as individual pieces are purchased and replaced.
Sometimes a store or manufacturer will make too much of a product and the excess will find its way into outlet stores. This can also happen when seasons change and stores need to remove inventory from their winter offerings to make room for spring selections. Alternatively, a company may discontinue a specific design or series of an item and any left in stock will be redirected to an outlet facility.
Each of these scenarios give consumers a fantastic opportunity if they are willing to shop strategically. For clothing, this means buying essentials a year in advance. For parents with small children this can represent massive savings in a clothing budget but it means buying a size or two up in anticipation for a year’s worth of growth.
This same method is used in all industries although clothing is where it tends to be most obvious. Home or office furniture, home goods, toys, books, and even cooking utensils can be shifted to an outlet store due to overstocking or discontinuation. An outlet store in New Jersey for example that specializes in home goods may have more outdoor pieces going into fall and more winter decorations in spring as other stores transition their displays.
Irregular or Damaged Merchandise
Some outlet stores will take items that are slightly irregular or which were damaged either during shipping or on display at other retail stores. Depending on the type of irregularity or damage this can be another way for consumers to save a substantial amount of money.
When an item is redirected to an outlet store due to damage or an irregularity it is more likely to be in season than those items that arrived as a result of overstocking or discontinuation. For clothing this could be something as trivial as the wrong color of thread, something that was stitched slightly off, or had different finishing touches.
A New Jersey furniture store outlet that has products that are damaged or irregular would likely have an assortment of items that have minimal damage or patterns and fabrics that were tested but not mass produced. If the damage was repaired, it might not even be noticeable which would represent a fantastic find for shoppers.
When shopping at an outlet store that is supplied with primarily damaged or irregular pieces, be sure to inspect the item thoroughly before making a purchase.
Direct to Outlet
There are some outlet stores that are stocked entirely from inventory that was made specifically for them. This seems like it would make the institution a retail store for the brand but the items sold in this type of outlet are not identical to the items sold in other retail facilities.
For example, some clothing designers create lines that are developed for large department stores. The higher price of these types of pieces make them inaccessible to the average buyer, even if they are discounted at the end of the season for an outlet store. In order to provide a greater supply and increase their consumer base, some companies will make separate items that differ slightly to sell at a substantially lower cost at their direct to outlet stores.
Typically, a company doing this will use different fabrics or finishing touches and occasionally entirely different designs which cost less to produce. However, they will maintain their quality standards so the clothing, furniture, or accessories are still well made. This allows consumers to purchase a well-designed piece at a fraction of the cost.
The only problem with this type of outlet store is they will likely not have the same selection of items as a retail store so even if a customer was waiting for the change of seasons or hoping to find an item that had been discontinued, it probably wouldn’t end up at this type of location.
Furniture outlets in NJ could have merchandise for any of the reasons listed above. It’s important to ask about the available stock and why it was discounted to ensure you understand exactly what it is you’re purchasing.