Yesterday I went to Great Lakes Crossing Outlets for a fun-filled day of shopping with one of the Freshies from Myanmar. I have not been to the Woodbury outlet mall in New York, which is supposedly one of the more famous ones, so I have nothing much to compare with. With that said, Great Lakes Crossing Outlet Mall is huge! There are 9 districts (does this remind anyone of hunger games besides me??) in total with over 180 stores. The two of us set off from Central Campus in University of Michigan at 9:30am and arrived at the Mall slightly past 11am, after making another stop at North Campus. We had until 4:50pm to go the the entire length of 1.6km. Needless to say, we did not manage to complete the entire round and even had to run from Levi’s situated in district 9 back to district 6 to board our bus because we hopelessly lost track of time. There is a huge variety of stores from fashion and beauty, to electronics, to household items and many more.
I’m not going to debate about whether it’s worth it to buy items from outlet malls. Some claim that the items are specially manufactured for the outlet malls (Article linked here), made with cheaper quality materials while others insist that items displayed are cheaper because they are “last season”. Personally, I believe in the former because looking at the amount of sales from yesterday, there is no way there are so many “last season” items to be sold. I bought a U.S. Polo Assn Polo Tee and a Tommy Hilfiger Polo Tee for my dad and there is no way these items can cost $20 – $25 in normal retail stores. Upon careful inspection, you can definitely tell that the seams are not sewn properly and the quality probably varies a lot from retail. But I am a happy shopper – because as superficial as it sounds, they are branded goods. Even if they are not made of the best materials, people’s utility increase because of their trust and belief in the brand (marketing/ econs at work here…). Anyway, how much can we really distinguish the quality? As long as it feels good, and you feel good, isn’t that what consumption is for? I also got myself my first pair of Victoria Secret bra like any girly girl would because come on, it’s not every day that a VS bra would cost you $12.99! It is also one of the softest/ prettiest bra I own, and I love it!
So that concludes my first outlet experience. In my friend’s words, “we HAVE to go back”.