Retail outlets have recently become an alternative shopping route to the traditional American mall for a great many people. In fact, many mall merchants have bought into this trend and have established their own outlet stores -- some going as far as to manufacture a second line of merchandise designed specifically for sale through these avenues. An analysis of the existence of outlet centers, or plazas consisting solely of outlets shows that only certain areas are targeted for development. However, what determines whether a location is ideal for a successful outlet center? There are perhaps many more than a few considerations that go into this -- population, other major attractions, geography, demography. Many of the factors involve the immediate social environments directly surrounding the location. Obviously outlet centers are not intended for certain locales but there are people in most any area that are willing to travel to these shopping cites even distances of several hours.
Niagara Falls, NY has proven to be a prime location for outlet centers. Currently, there are two major centers in the American city of Niagara Falls. They are the Niagara Falls Factory Outlet Center at 1900 Military Road and the Rainbow Centre Factory Outlets at 302 Rainbow Blvd. North. The layout above is actually a map of the Niagara Falls Factory Outlet Center. This center has expanded to almost double it's original size in the last five years, which demonstrates the success retailers have experienced. A factor that plays into its success is its location less than 15 minutes from an international border. Cross-border shopping accounts for a reasonable percentage of the business generated in these outlet centers even though it has died down in recent years. This refers to the practice of traveling across an international border for the purpose of consumption of goods. By the hundreds, Canadians travel across the border daily to search for bargains and save money on famous brands of clothing, household products, and gift ideas. In this manner, the outlet centers have created a diversion from shopping available in Canada and shifted the cash flow to US merchants.