polo resort las vegas Jockey and Carters among Top Scorers in Consumer Reports Outlet Stores Survey
APSU Baseball travels to Jacksonville State this weekendThe results reveal the winners and losers among 58 major outlet brands included in Consumer Reports’ survey, which took into account key factors such as value, quality, selection, and service. Consumer Reports also interviewed experts and sent a reporter undercover to buy $2,000 worth of shirts, slacks, socks, sweats, and other items, to examine in its’ textile labs.
Overall, 60 percent of outlet shoppers said that they were completely or very satisfied with their experience. Respondents gave high marks to a range of stores. Among the top choices: Jockey and Carter’s (clothes, underwear), Harry David (food), Corningware (kitchenware), Izod and Van Heusen (clothes), and Coach (leather goods and other accessories).
Almost three quarters of shoppers described the merchandise quality as excellent or very good. About the same percentage rated outlet merchandise equal in quality to the same brands sold at regular stores. Eleven percent judged outlet goods slightly poorer but said the differences so insignificant that they were barely noticeable, while 2 percent thought outlet lines were “substantially poorer” than goods sold elsewhere.
“Decades ago, outlets were venues for manufacturers to unload leftovers and flawed merchandise. That’s not true anymore. Today,
much of what you see are goods made exclusively for outlet distribution, typically items that were popular a year or two earlier at retail stores that are now being remade for the outlets at lower price points,” said Tod Marks, senior project editor with Consumer Reports.
Consumer Reports puts the merchandise to the test:
Outlet store goods are designed to sell for less than retail goods, so shoppers can’t assume they’re exact copies. When Consumer Reports shopped for look alikes at outlets and full price stores, our textile expert confirmed that the outlet versions were tweaked. The regular retail items were usually a trifle better because of construction details or better materials. But in most cases, the outlet versions were fine, and a couple beat their retail version. On several occasions, the outlet version was actually superior.
For example, Consumer Reports purchased a ladies Polo Ralph Lauren classic oxford shirt at retail store for $76.50, and at an outlet for $40.00. The savings was roughly 48 percent. The quality of both was quite similar. Both shirts were made in China, had similar fabric and construction, plackets and placket finish, and buttons. The only notable difference, was a yellow fabric backing on the outlet shirt’s collar. “It’s a higher end finish that added a nice touch,” our expert said.
“A consumer’s experience may depend on how hard they are on clothes, how finicky they are about styling, or how happy they are saving money. Our shoppers saved up to 61 percent on outlet items,” Marks added.