Factory stores, clearance centers, and surplus outlets away from the malls.

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  • Why we don’t review outlet malls

    Land PoloThis site is about outlet, clearance, and discount stores. As part of that, we’re always looking for real outlet stores – those that sell closeouts, slightly imperfect merchandise, leftovers, etc. Some of these are also retail stores associated with a factory or warehouse that may have items sold at full price or a slight discount thereof, but that are hard to find elsewhere.

    What we don’t review are outlet malls. True, sometimes genuine outlet malls can be found in outlet stores, but not always. Most of the stores at outlet malls sell items at regular retail (after adjusting for all of the fake sale prices you see), or they sell items that are made specifically for the outlet stores. The tags and products aren’t exactly the same as those you’d find at Macy’s, Nordstrom, or a regular Banana Republic store, for example.

    Let’s face it, there are a lot of outlet malls out there. At the same time, manufacturers put such an emphasis on quality control and inventory management in order to save money that there just isn’t a lot of outlet-worthy merchandise out there.

    In some cases, the outlet stores sell brand that aren’t found in most stores, possibly to target international customers. Let’s take U.S. Polo Association, which is not to be confused with Ralph Lauren Polo. It’s a knockoff brand that seems to have a store in every outlet mall, but is it sold anywhere else?

    If you are like to shop by brand rather than by retailer, and if you find yourself near an outlet mall, by all means – go ahead and shop. You won’t get ripped off, but you won’t be getting a great deal, either.

  • Pure’s Cookies Outlet Store

    Pure’s Foods bakes cookies under its own name and under a huge array of private labels. You’ve probably had them before and not realized it.

    If you’re in the near western suburbs of Chicago and looking for a treat, the Pure’s Cookies Outlet Store is the place to get cookies cheap! Most items are sold at half or less of regular retail. The store also has drinks and convenience food items, the better to serve company employees and workers at nearby businesses.

    The store closes at 5:00 pm; I arrived shortly thereafter, which is why I am unable to give a more detailed review.

    Pure’s Cookies Outlet Store
    2929 S. 25th Avenue
    Broadview IL 60155

  • Klement’s Sausage

    Sausage is a very Milwaukee kind of thing. And if you are in Milwaukee, the place to go is Klement’s. The company sells a variety of sausages at its outlet store at prices that are slightly off of retail. In April and October, it holds blow-out sales with really great discounts.

    Klement’s Sausage
    2650 S. Chase
    Milwaukee, WI

  • The Mardi Gras Spot

    beadsIf you live in New Orleans, or if you are visiting and have a car, The Mardi Gras Spot is great fun to check out. It’s a store where people go to buy their Mardi Gras beads. And as many of the krewes (groups that build floats and put on parades) require members to spend hundreds of dollars on items to throw off the floats, people need a bargain spot.

    The Mardi Gras Spot is a warehouse near downtown, in Treme-Lafitte. It has all you need for Mardi Gras or other seasonal event. I visited in March, and the bead selection was light – relatively speaking. The prices were good. Basic gold Mardi Gras beads were $3.95 for six dozen, about a third the price of similar beads at Oriental Trading. There were lots of items for other holidays (I found some Easter beads for $4.20 per dozen); New Orleans Saints and LSU Tigers gear; and some fun stuffed animals. A 17″ crocodile ran me $4.95, and a pack of 50 glow bracelets was just $7.95.

    mardi gras underwearThere’s some tacky stuff, too. Mardi Gras underwear was $11.95 per dozen. If you need Mardi Gras underwear.

    There were two tricky parts. The first was getting to and from the store, as I was visiting without a car. I took Uber, which was fine on the trip there. The trip back was a little problematic because Uber didn’t show the address as a pickup location. I walked to a nearby Whole Foods and was able to get Uber there. I also bought some snacks for the hotel room – Whole Paycheck is cheaper than room service! Google Maps also showed that I could walk to pick up the bus at Canal Street, which would have been a long walk but not ridiculous.

    That brings me to tricky part number two: be careful you don’t overbuy! The bargains are good enough that you find yourself with more than you can carry on public transportation or on an airplane.

    This was a fun slice of life in New Orleans, and a great place to buy souvenirs.

    The Mardi Gras Spot
    2812 Toulouse Street
    New Orleans, LA 70119

  • J.C. Whitney Outlet

    Western Illinois has a lot more than corn and soybeans. In LaSalle, just south of I-80, is the J.C. Whitney Outlet Center. Here, the auto and motorcycle parts and accessories company has closeouts, discontinued items, and regular inventory. It’s a gear-head dream!

    J.C. Whitney Outlet Store
    761 Progress Parkway
    LaSalle, IL 61301