The Deal on Outlet Store Deals

Outlet store
Outlet store

At Bloomingdale's new outlet store in the Bergen Center Mall in Paramus, N.J., signs that echo cartoon thought bubbles hang from the ceiling with messages like, "Amazing designers? Definitely. Incredible prices? Absolutely," and "Are you dreaming? No silly, it's real." But how real are those bargains at the outlet stores, which offer the promise of unrivaled, unbelievable deals? We grilled insiders and embarked on stealth shopping trips to unveil the deal on outlet center deals.

In a Down Economy, Outlet Stores Take Flight

Retailers and manufacturers have operated these lower-priced spinoff stores, also known as "factory stores," for decades. But in this recessionary climate, the outlet business is getting bigger.