“A factory outlet is a shop or online store selling products directly to the public from the manufacturer.”
A brief history and explanation
The original concept for factory outlet stores was developed nearly a 100 years ago when factories would sell damaged goods onsite to employees at discounted rates. At some point it was realised that there was a substantial market for these items and so outlets where opened up to the public. Over the years it has grown in to a substantial and successful business model for many companies.
These days Outlet shopping is a huge business. Companies use these stores to manage fluctuations in stock by selling it off at a low cost when they can’t shift it. They can also make extra income from selling items failing quality inspection. It has also been suggested that manufacturers of expensive brands may deliberately over produce items with differences in quality in order to sell them at outlet stores. This is completely legal and there are legitimate business models that show how this works. This business model allows an expensive designer brand to scoop up some of the budget fashion market, which makes a lot of sense in todays current economic climate. More importantly though it allows consumers to get hold of designer clothing at good prices.
Top 3 Online Fashion Outlets
- M and m Direct. You can find a huge variety of top brands on this site. They specialise in offering low prices on top brands which are at the end of season. You can find brands like adidas, converse, ted baker and diesel on their site. They have in excess of 100 brands.
- Superdry eBay Store. There are loads of really great discounts especially on seconds. The postage is a little expensive though so be sure to factor that in.
- M&S Outlet. One of the UK biggest brands. You can find all sorts of M&S products here with up to 40% off. They also have a good customer service and returns policy.