Keeping Track: Outlet stores

Discount-shopping boom fuels a rise

Americans' appetite for cheap, name-brand clothing is fueling a boom in outlet shopping centers.

In 1993, only 183 outlet centers were sprinkled across America. Now, 294 grace the US and their numbers are growing.

Companies with the fastest growing number of outlet stores? Vitamin World, which added 133 stores between 1998 and 1999. Bugle Boy added 119 stores; Vans, a shoe company, has 76 stores; and GNC, a nutritional-supplement store, increased by 40 stores.

Americans spent $255 million at outlet stores in 1999. Overall, shoppers spent $1.16 trillion at shopping centers, more than half of all nonautomotive retail sales.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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