Comparative Shopping in Outlet Mall Stores

I was recently shopping at the mall the other day and it occurred to me that in today’s society, there are so many stores that carry much of the same exact items that it is hard to decide which places to shop at. Which stores have the best deals and best selection? I break down the costs and selection and give you my opinion of the best outlet stores to shop at.

I have compared the following stores: The GAP, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Aeropostale, and American Eagle. These four stores I have found while shopping all carry very similar if not the same items.

GAP

The Gap has the most stores out of any of the other stores on my list and chances are with their multitude of stores there is probably a GAP location near you. The prices are usually relative to the rest of the stores but they do have some very good sales. The sales range anywhere from 20% to 50$ off the tag price. A pair of jeans priced at $30 with sales was priced down to $18. There are usually several sales going on every day. THe GAP stores like any clothing store have a men’s, women’s and children’s section. They have a wide range of items they sell but nothing they sell is out of the ordinary or is an item that most of the other stores don’t carry. However, I did find that their children’s section is quite extensive, much more so than the other shops.

Banana Republic

Banana Republic separates itself from the other stores in that it is a high end store. It most closely resembles a MACY store. It has very good quality in the material. However, the prices are also significantly more expensive than the other stores. There is rarely a sale and when there is it doesn’t make much of a dent in the final price. For example, a sweater at a tag price of $70, had a small sale on it that only reduced the final price down to $60. Although, I must say that the quality of the sweater was very good and well worth the money I spent on it.

Aeropostale and American Eagle

Aeropastale is a store much like American Eagle. They both carry the same exact type of shirts, generally striped or colored full button down shirts or T-shirts with logos. The main difference I have found is that Aeropostale is much cheaper. I bought a button down shirt at Aeropostale, tag price at $45, was on sale for $15. American Eagle does have its fair share of sales but not any more sales than Aeropostale. The selection in both of these stores is usually small compared to the GAP and Banana Republic. In these two stores I also found the customer helpfulness to be the best. Part of this has to do with the fact that most of these stores are small compared to a GAP or Old Navy but in general I have usually had a sales person come up to me and ask if I needed help finding something.

Old Navy

The Old Navy stores have a reputation of being very cheap and deservedly so. Their prices cannot be beat by any of these stores, much less an store. They have a very wide selection of items, ranging from jackets, to vests, to pants, shirts, socks. You name it and Old Navy probably carries the item. The only problem with Old Navy is the quality of the items they sell. Out of the rest of the stores, Old Navy has the worst quality cothing. I have had several items get ruined in the wash because the clothing was cheaply made. However, for some people it is worth paying the low prices for clothing. There is always a sale going on that is around 50% off the tag price and the sale is for several items each day. Old Navy also has a large amount of stores and is especially popular in malls and outlet shopping centers.

So remember, the next time you want to buy clothing, what is your first concern? is it the price, the quality, or the helpfulness to customers? I hope these tips were helpful and allow you to become a better shopper.

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