Friday, November 15, 2013

St. Louis Outlet Malls

My friend was off work Monday for Veteran's Day, so we decided to check out the two new outlet centers in the St. Louis area. Like a lot of people, I am curious to see if the area can support two of these malls. And I fervently hope they are not the kiss of death for Chesterfield Mall.  We decided to stop first at Taubman Prestige Outlets, which is accessed via I-64 from the Boone's Crossing exit. Traffic was slow in the right lane exiting onto Boone's Crossing, but sadly for the center most people turned left heading to Chesterfield Commons rather than right towards Taubman Prestige Outlets. Once we arrived at the center the parking lot was quite empty.

The center is set up in a horizontal fashion, similar to a strip mall, with two rows of stores facing each other. Currently there are 48 stores open, with a few more stating that they are coming soon. Billed as a dog friendly destination, there are numerous watering stations for dogs as well as waste disposal bags. As there is no grassy area, it doesn't take much imagination to figure out where the dogs will be doing their business. I have a dog, but this is not a place I can see taking him. Not every store allows you to bring dogs inside, and I would never tie him up while I shopped. Three restaurants are open in the food court: Japanese, Chinese and Italian. We decided to see what was offered at the other center, so we did not eat here.

I was hoping to get some Christmas shopping done, but all I ended up buying was a chew antler at the pet store for the dog and a card game at the game store to play over Thanksgiving.

dog station

one of several dog sculptures

children's play area
Next we headed over to St. Louis Premium Outlets. We hopped back on I-64 at Boone's Crossing and drove west to the next exit, Long Road. After crossing back over the highway, you turn right on Chesterfield Airport Road and follow the signs to the shopping center. The differences in the two centers was noticable immediately. The parking lots here were packed! The layout of the center to accomodate the 90 stores is very different as well. There are three rows of stores, with anchor buildings on each end. The center just has a whole different vibe to it. We went first to the food court since it was lunch time. There are five places serving food inside, and they are typical of the restaurants you would find in any mall food court. Hopefully there is a plan to open up restaurants near this center as well as the other one.

After eating we went in quite a few of the stores. My assessment is that the pricing does not appear to be much better than if you went into these stores in a mall location, particularly when the mall stores have a sale going on. I will add, however, that the Christopher & Banks store at this location is larger than any I have ever been in before, so that was something at least.

The bottom line for me is that I will not make the drive again to go shopping, unless I have guests visiting and they want to go out there. And if we only have time to make one stop, it would definitely be at the St. Louis Premium Outlet due to the larger variety of stores and general overall feel of the center.

fireplace & seating area

one leg of the center



Mrs. Wryly said...

That Taubman mall is doomed! They should have blinked in the stare-down. Dogs don't have credit cards. DUH!!!

Unknown said...

Don't forget that we have a third outlet mall in the area: St. Louis Mills.

I have long ago decided that the prices in outlet malls are hardly any different from the prices in a regular store.