Outlet Shopping in Memphis: Bargains Fit for a King
By Sally Walker Davies
Memphis Local Expert
As home to the world's busiest cargo airport, we are a bit surprised that there isn't a huge outlet mall in Memphis - but that doesn't mean outlet shopping doesn't exist in the Bluff City. (And a fab update: Tanger Outlets has inked a deal to open an outlet center just over the city/state line in DeSoto County, MS. It'll be ready for the holidays of 2015).
Until that point, outlet options are slightly limited at this point. With a small outlet mall featuring a couple of dozen shops just a short drive away in Tunica, MS and a Midtown Memphis manufacturer of hip home decor located near the University of Memphis, the options for outlet shopping are varied if not vast. East Memphians are fortunate to have a trifecta of shops, one next to the other, right on their doorstop, with the Pottery Barn / West Elm and Williams-Sonoma outlet offering the best deals in town on everything for the home, as well as great gifts.
Even Elvis is part of Memphis' outlet shopping scene, with a store not far from the singer's Graceland mansion dedicated to all thing King, as well as a variety of other rock 'n' roll themed merchandise.
While visitors to Memphis may have to work a bit harder to indulge their inner bargain hunter, searching out the outlets in town isn't really a chore. After all, the nature of true bargain hunting is all about the hunt - and then, of course, the kill - a true bargain at a low price.
Nike Factory Store
Located in a pretty run-down shopping center near Graceland, the Nike Factory Store is an outlet oasis in a sea of Elvis-themed kitsch. Like other Nike outlets, the store offers the iconic swoosh-ed gear for athletes and those who just want to look hip. For teenage girls, that means Nike gym shorts, which are generally much easier to find at this store than other outlets, about $10 less expensive than in regular retailers. The store is tucked back in this mall along Elvis Presley Boulevard, and can be a bit of a trick to find - it's right near the Dollar General store. ((901) 332-9325)
Casino Outlets at Tunica Resorts
Located within an easy drive from all of the Tunica casinos, this outlet mall is smaller than the mega-outlets seen in other larger metropolitan areas, but worth the trip even if you're not planning a casino stop. The Tunica outlet is definitely a destination if you are outfitting the kids, as there's a wide array of stores which carry children's shoes and clothing. The outlet is rarely crowded, which makes a nice change from most outlet malls; there are about two dozen stores including the Gap, Wilson's Leather, Izod, Old Navy and Nautica; Hibbett Sports is our go-to for discounted athletic wear. (662-363-1940)
This is the only outlet (sometimes called Graceland Outlet, sometimes called Memphis Outlet) of all things officially Elvis sanctioned by Elvis Presley Enterprises, and is full of officially licensed, past-season Elvis merchandise. Switchplate covers, clocks, key chains, mugs, t-shirts - you name it, it is for sale here, at prices definitely better than the full retail pricing up the street for similar merchandise. The best part is the exhibit-themed objects which were part of previous exhibits, as they tend to show or use photos or images that may have been in reserve, or simply just discovered, by the folks at Elvis Presley Enterprises. In addition to Elvis souvenir, the outlet stocks more general rock and roll-themed items (901-398-6528)
Williams-Sonoma - Pottery Barn Clearance Outlet
A trifecta of treats, the Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn and West Elm outlets offer the chance to get all your favorite merchandise, as featured in the catalogs and stores, at discount prices. From current season furnishings at West Elm and Pottery Barn to the highest quality name-brand kitchen equipment and accessories, there are always bargains to be had, especially on the Williams Sonoma side, where we always are on the lookout for the All-Clad sales - heaven! Prices at PB and West Elm are generally about a 20 - 30% discount, unless there's a special sale going. The Williams-Sonoma pricing is even better than that, especially on food and holiday-themed items. Shopping at WS closer to any given holiday ensures even higher discounts, usually up to 50%, and then the day following the holiday, the discount is 60% and higher. (901-763-1500)
Memphis is home to some incredible outlet shopping, including a manufacturer of home decor who supplies the oh-so-picky buyers from the likes of Neiman Marcus, Horchow and other high-end stores. World's Away has trade showrooms all over the country, but here in Memphis it has a little-known outlet called World's Apart. Located in Midtown near the Liberty Bowl Stadium, the warehouse-style outlet is crammed full of all the designer-favorite accessories, furniture, wall decor and lighting that's seen in the best homes in the country. Think of it like a scavenger / treasure hunt for that perfect side table or pair of silk curtains (and randomly, shoes and jackets) to complete a room. Prices on last year's top accessories - many of which are a mix of contemporary and classic - are hugely discounted from what you'd have paid through one of the high-end stores. One of our favorite finds are gorgeous lampshades and those pretty, painted metal holders for Pyrex dishes - a steal starting at $9 and up, and easy to pack for a trip home. If you're within driving distance and in the market for chic home goods, then World's Apart alone is worth the car trip to Memphis. (901-272-0777)
About Sally Walker Davies
Sally Walker Davies is enchanted by Memphis' music, history, and characters. From the artsy South Main Historic District to the grittiness of her favorite live music clubs to the sophisticated style of the eastern edge of the city, there’s a Memphis for every mood, and she loves every part of it. Walker Davies is an experienced broadcast, print, and online journalist focusing on travel, writing for the Commercial Appeal, AOL Travel, BudgetTravel.com, and The Tennessean. She is the author of Tennessee: An Explorer’s Guide and the Elvis-themed travel app King Me: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Royalty Tour.
Read more about Sally Walker Davies here.