Outlet-storesIs it just me, or are outlet deals not as good as they used to be?

I went down to Niagara-on-the-Lake this weekend, to catch some Shaw Festival and outlet shopping. “My Fair Lady” wasn’t as good as I’d hoped, but then the Rex Harrison/Audrey Hepburn movie is so firmly engrained in my head that I’m afraid I’ll be hyper-critical for the rest of my days.

But I did hope to catch some good deals at the outlet mall on the Canadian side. I know the outlet malls on the US side are larger, but I seriously could not be bothered crossing in one day. (I also considered, but discounted, going to Borders.)

So I stayed in maple leaf land, and by and large I was a little let down. I managed to get a birthday present for my father at the Coach outlet, but only because it was a small item, and it was an additional 30% off. But for things like jeans, shoes, and other clothing, the deals are no better, and sometimes worse, than regular season sales. And the parking lot was tiny. And it was just swarming. Swarming. I don’t go out of my way to outlet malls, but now I’m wondering if some of them are even worth dropping by, if I’m in the area.

Do you go outlet shopping? Or do you live near one?

– Jean AAR

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I live in Seattle, Washington and work as a legal assistant. I remember learning to read (comic strips) at a young age and nowadays try to read about 5-6 books a week. I love to travel, especially to Europe, and enjoy exploring smaller towns off the tourist track though London is my favorite city in the world.