After a few days of tossing around the idea of going to The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass, I finally got brave enough to go with my two kids. I hadn’t been to an outlet mall in over 20 years, so I was excited to see what bargains there were to be had. We left our house extra early to hopefully avoid any traffic and arrived about 20 minutes before the mall opened and was pleasantly surprised to find no traffic at all! My first observation was that it looked huge, once we got inside it had a nice airy, clean feel to it.
There were so many stores to check out, it can quickly get overwhelming. So, I had made a game plan beforehand to only check out the kids’ clothing stores and the plus size stores, because I’m a mom and plus size, makes sense. I also wanted to find how exactly this “outlet” mall was different from a “normal” mall, so I tried to ask questions at each store that I went to. This is how it went….Oh, and most kids’ stores are all in the same area, very helpful!
First stop was Claire’s. I was curious to see what type of hairbows they had for my 7 year old, they didn’t have a huge selection, but I was told that they are always buy one, get one 50% off. I was also told that their prices are the same as a regular Claire’s, they just have more deals. It pretty much looked identical to any Claire’s that I’ve been to, same exact stuff.
Next we went to Carter’s, which I had NEVER been to a real Carter’s store. Cute stuff, had some Halloween clothes already out so I ended up buying a shirt and pants for my son. I was also told that their prices are the same as a “regular” Carter’s, that they might just get more clearance items.
Gymboree was next on my list, the only person I saw working there wasn’t very helpful when it came to information about prices. She stated she had never worked at another Gymboree, so didn’t know if the prices were better than a regular store. They did have a great “everything is $12.99 and under” sale going on so I got both kids some clothes. Still had some cute summer lines and cute fall lines too. Unfortunately, I walked out of there not really knowing how much shopping at this Gymboree will save you money compared going to another Gymboree.
The kids saw the Toys R Us store, so we had to check it out. It reminded me of those temporary ones in the malls at Christmas time. Actually, the guy working there stated their contract for that location expires in January, so he didn’t know if this was a long term stay or not. Again, prices were about the same as a regular Toys R Us. They do get more clearance items. I was also told that it was about 70% “name” brand toys/items and 30% “off” brands. You’d probably be better off shopping elsewhere.
I did check out a new to me children’s store, Hartstrings. Super cute stuff, but I had sticker shock when I looked at the price tag. It was 40% off a lot of things in the store, but even then it was a little too rich for my blood. The woman working there was super nice and said their clothes are great for coordinating for photos. They did have a lot of fall clothes out already, if you are wanting an early start on your shopping for cooler weather.
We quickly checked out The Children’s Place, because at this point my kids were DONE and it looked like all the rest of The Children’s Place stores, price wise and selection. I noticed that those little round tables that they keep their t-shirts on were the same price as the other stores.
I did pop in at Lane Bryant and was very disappointed in their selection, not nearly as much as the other stores in Louisville. They did have Outlet Exclusive items scattered through the store, cute stuff but not great prices or anything. They did have their demi bra that the stores don’t carry anymore and also the Houston and the Madison slacks that are no longer carried at the store. So, if you are looking for hard time find LB items, you might want to check them out.
Torrid was a new experience for me, it’s an edgier plus size store. Hot Topic is their sister store. I liked what I saw there, it has a sexy vibe to it. Sizes go up to 26. The nice lady working there said their prices are exactly the same as the Torrid store in Mall St Matthews, so no awesome savings there. BUT, they do have an expanded clearance section AND a bigger overall selection than the Louisville location.
After all that looking around we were in need of some grub. Their food court has ample sitting, with three main places to eat. Little Italy, Chickenow and China Max. We opted out on those and checked out the restaurant that it right outside of the food court, Taqueria Tsunami. They do have a few tables outside to eat so that you can people watch, my kids loved that part of it. We shared a bowl of queso which the kids loved. I ordered a Thai Chicken Taco and the Gringo Taco which both were very yummy. My only complaint is that it could have been warmer. My kids shared a chicken strip meal with tator tots, my 3 yr old loved it, my 7 yr old hated it. The chicken had a tempura type batter, which made it “different” so my 7 yr old snubbed it. They were nice enough to bring her some flour tortillas to snack on. Next time we will order the grilled cheese. If none of those options sound appealing to you, there is a Culver’s on the outskirts of the mall parking lot.
We did check out the play area, my kids weren’t going to leave that place without playing some. There’s two slides, one for 3 and under and a bigger, enclosed slide for the older kids. There’s a few other little things they can climb on inside the structure, but not too much. It entertained the kids well enough and I could see my kids at all times, so it seemed like a win-win to me.
Lastly, we checked out, which was probably my kids’ favorite store of all, Ghirardelli Chocolate. As soon as we walked in they have ladies handing out free chocolate squares, yum! They have a huge selection of chocolate, and can buy them already packaged in bags or can pick and choose some of your favorite flavors individually and bag it yourself. They also have a bar to order ice cream, shakes and sundaes, which all looked delicious. They also had hot, iced and frozen coffees. I ordered a frozen mocha which was off the charts good, a stronger coffee flavor than what you’d get at other chain coffee shops. You order at the same register that you pay for your chocolate at.
Overall, it’s a lovely mall. I would recommend picking up a coupon booklet at the customer service desk that’s located by the food court. I forgot to, so don’t know what great savings I missed out on. Ugh!
I’m guessing you could go 20 different times and have 20 different experiences with sales and what bargains you’ll get. I had one employee tell me that to be considered “outlet” that 70% of the merchandise has to be on sale, it didn’t really seem like that was my experience with it. Another employee stated it’s only an outlet store if it actually says “outlet” under the store name, otherwise the prices are the same. Hopefully, I can head up there sans kids soon and check out some “grown up” stores. I look forward to zipping up there every few months to see what I can find, it’s really not that bad of a drive, and I drove from Bullitt Co.
Happy shopping everyone, hope you enjoy it too.
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