The retail apocalypse has descended on malls across America. However, thriving in suburban towns are outlet malls. They appeal to those who love a great deal, but also want a different experience.
Tony Streeter says, unlike the big shopping malls, at outlet malls he can let his kids run wild.
"Anytime you can get them to move around without worrying about them bumping into stuff, hiding in stuff, or taking stuff off the shelves where you are constantly saying don't touch that, please put that back. Now I can't shop. But here she's jumping around on the rocks and I'm not so worried about it because it's outside and it's built for this."
In 2016, the popularity of outlet malls grew by 26 percent. Andrea Nyquist is a marketing director at an outlet mall and says retailers are getting better with knowing what customers want especially when it comes to competing against heavy weight champion Amazon.
"It's not the same when you are by yourself in your house buying something online as it is touching and feeling and interacting with other customers.”
While outlet giant Craig Reality is expanding, there are other outlet chains like Tanger that are feeling the strain big malls are experiencing.
With malls across America closing left and right, it seems there is something about outlet malls that keep drawing people back.
Nyquist believes it’s, “convenience, value and the experience. They want to be engaged to bring their family and spend all afternoon and have a family friendly environment.”
Whether it’s the convenience, the discounts, the endless options of big name brands or the open-air atmosphere, Nyquist says, malls might be closing but outlets are here to stay.