Who doesn’t love a good bargain? Even if you don’t “love shopping” like the Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte, we’re sure you appreciate every opportunity to save some of your hard-earned cash. But with outlet stores in Pennsylvania, you can get more than just a bargain or two—they provide some of the best deals consistently.
And for these outlet centers, shopping is more than just plastering the word “sale!” and hoping for the best. Shopping is all about the experience. It’s all about having a fun time with your family: eating together, shopping together, and enjoying each other’s company.
You might think millennials and generation z won’t be interested in discount outlet stores—but that’s where you’re wrong. If you look closer, you’ll see that shopping trends are shifting because of these younger generations.
It is estimated that generation z will be responsible for $145 billion in direct spending by 2020. They’re not so glued to their screens after all: they’re not favoring online shopping, but rather taking an interest in retail. Rather, they use online shopping to check prices before going to the actual stores.
And these are the generations that are most interested in treating shopping as an experience. This is perhaps why gen z-ers are drawn more towards outlet malls than regular malls. They are motivated by a variety of sales and discounts, which they conveniently found online.
So what does this mean? It means that business is booming for outlet centers all over Pennsylvania—meaning now is the best time to pay them a visit and see what’s on offer. And it also means that you can take your whole family with you!
And Millennials and Gen Z’ers aren’t the only ones that are rediscovering the amazing experiences that coming to a physical place with family and friends to shop. Moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas are all finding that, while shopping online is a major convenience, you can have a much more enjoyable time spending time with your loved ones and getting your shopping done.
It’s really all about dictating the pace of the shopping. If you go in with a time-crunched schedule, it will make the experience that much less enjoyable. However if you have a few hours to enjoy walking around, and grab a bit to eat, then the shopping experience is much more enjoyable.
Now the tricky part is looking for the best outlet center near you: nobody has the time to go around comparing them with one another. Why waste time and money when we can just give the answers to you? Here we’re listing down some of the best discount outlet centers in Pennsylvania—many of which are near Lancaster.
At the risk of being self promotional -We’re starting this off with a particularly high note: The Shops @Rockvale is the premier place to find high-quality clothing, home décor, as well as great restaurants. With more than 80 outlet brands, this outlet center provides bigger bargains on many popular brands.
At The Shops @Rockvale, they offer discounts of 35 to 75 percent every day. Convenient if you’re not willing to wait for department stores and malls to have a sale. It’s conveniently placed on route 30 in Lancaster, PA, so you won’t pay sales tax on clothing and shoes.
If you’re on your way to popular attractions like Strasburg Railroad, Kitchen Kettle Village, the Rainbow Dinner Theatre, you can pay them a visit. It is just across the street from American Music Theater and down the street from Sight & Sound Theater.
If you’re looking for clothes, The Shops @Rockvale offers a selection including women’s clothing, men’s clothing, and children’s apparel. There are brands like Carter’s, Puma, Disney Store, Steel City Sports, Janie and Jack, Alfred Dunner, New York & Company, and many more.
And after shopping your family might want to stop for a while to re-energize: The Shops @Rockvale has restaurants that can offer a wide selection of food ranging from quick snacks to heavy meals: Burger King, Olive Garden, Subway, Ruby Tuesday, and more!
One reviewer praises The Shops @Rockvale saying, “I really love these outlets. The prices are great. Such a huge selection of stores. Plenty of free parking. There is a courtesy shuttle that takes you around the outlet.I really like shopping here. Will I be back? YUP!”
The Shops @Rockvale isn’t just your ordinary outlet center. It is the place to be.
Here’s another option if you’re in Lancaster and you enjoy fashionable savings: Tanger Outlets Lancaster. Sure, it has fewer stores, with just over 65, but it also boasts brand name stores like Polo Ralph Lauren, DKNY, Nike, Coach, Gap, Tommy Hilfiger, Reebok, Guess, and Banana Republic.
It is located at 311 Stanley K Tanger Blvd, Lancaster. To make the most out of your visit, you’ll want to pick up a coupon book or join TangerClub for additional savings.
“Although we only went to three stores our shopping experience was very good,” says one reviewer. “The staff in Clarks Shoes and Columbia were especially helpful. There is a discount book available at Customer Service with many store discounts, it had a cost of $5 but usually they are free with a coupon.”
It is described as “very clean and roomy,” with “lots of parking.”
But bear in mind, not all the reviews are as stellar: “we stopped here on our way through Lancaster. I have to say it was quite a disappointment. Many of the shops were no longer in operation and it seemed to be a bit of a ghost town.”
What this outlet store seems to lack is, well, more stores. But by filling up those empty spaces, Tanger Outlets Lancaster can definitely be among the top outlet stores in Lancaster, service-wise.
Looking for a bargain? Another outlet center you might want to check out if you’re in Lancaster is Olle’s Bargain Outlet. Even the word “bargain” is on its name! It’s located at 2090 Lincoln Hwy E if you’re interested.
This one is fascinating because it doesn’t have a large “fanbase” in particular. They don’t have too many loyal customers. It has a weird reputation. But people find themselves going there very often anyway!
One reviewer says it best: “I’ve never been a fan of Ollie’s on the regular. Too many bad memories of my dad stocking up on strange and expired food from here may have traumatized me, but slowly I find myself coming here more often. This location is my favorite. I think they’re cleaner, less crowded, and have more room in their isles. I also tend to find more of what I’m looking for at this location vs. the others. What I have learned in my past few visits at both locations as this isn’t a bad store, and certainly one to add to my thrift rotation when I’m shopping.”
You might find the food, clothing, and beauty departments a little bit lacking. The service has been described as “almost non-existent.”
But if you want great deals on your rugs, your vinyl, your outdoor plastic grass, your hardwood flooring, and other similar items, you’ll find plenty of those here. Books and toys are abundant, and you’ll surely find something you’ll want to give to your kids. Is it too early to stock up on Christmas presents? No, it is not. It’s never too early to stock up on future gifts/supplies.
Customer service may be a bit lacking—but who can say no to that year-round sale?
These last two entries are a bit more on the “honorable mentions” side of the story. These are still some of the best outlet centers in Pennsylvania, but they’re not in Lancaster per se. The Crossings Premium Outlets, for example, boasts quite an impressive collection of many fine brands. You and your family will surely enjoy your time here.
One reviewer says: “I really enjoy a day at Crossings Premium Outlets. My favorites are Coach, New York & Company, Michael Kors, Nike, Crocs just to name a few. The complex is rather large and has premium name brand shops for everyone’s taste. My recommendation is to go during the week day, where parking is available everywhere and it’s much less crowded. I also think the sales are better on the weekdays too. The weekend tends to be extremely crowded and parking sometimes is a struggle.”
“No restaurants located in center. There is a food court(which is okay). Auntie Ann’s & Dunkin’ Donuts is where I may grab something quick to hold me over.”
There are a few complaints, however: “went to check out this so-called premium outlets, parking was very limited, entire mall was more like a small strip mall and it was very old and dated! Major wear and tear on the outside of the buildings! Needs a major overhaul.”
People may have varying opinions on it, but at least it’s still worth checking out. Come and see it for yourself. The Crossings Premium Outlets is located at 1000 Premium Outlets Dr, Tannersville, PA.
Another honorable mention is Ross Park Mall, located at 1000 Ross Park Mall Dr, Ross Township, PA. It’s an outlet center that features a multitude of high-end stores from which you can choose from. It has some very popular consumer-favorite brands like Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Apple, Armani Collezioni, Kate Spade, Macy’s, Crate & Barrel, and The Cheesecake Factory. It’s safe to say it has a bit of everything for everyone.
Reviewers praise it for not being “super busy” and for having decent stores. “The lines for Santa and the Easter Bunny have always been reasonable, as well. This mall is never too crowded and easy to get in and out of.”
This multi-level indoor mall has over 160 shops. “There are lots of nice specialty shops. It was a good place to stroll around one evening after dinner.”
“We enjoyed our experience at this mall. It was a clean, safe environment and had a good variety of stores so there was something to keep everyone happy. Lots of great little restaurants in the food court as well!”
Outlet stores are all the rage nowadays. And it helps that the younger generations are developing a taste for great bargains as well. Take your whole family and visit one of these fine outlet centers today!