6 Tips for Back to School Shopping at the Merrimack Premium Outlets

As a kid, I always looked forward to going back to school shopping with my mom. It was so much fun going from store to store picking out a whole new wardrobe for the upcoming school year. Now that I have my own children to shop for, I love that I get to spend some time with them picking out some new duds for them to go to school. My oldest is going into the middle school this year and he’s really coming into his own when it comes to fashion. He definitely knows what he likes and what he doesn’t like.

**Thanks to Simon for sponsoring our back to school shopping trip at Merrimack Premium Outlets. As always, all opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

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I decided to take my boys up the the Merrimack Premium Outlets up in Merrimack, NH this past weekend to do their back to school shopping. Heading to an outlet mall can bring about a lot of adventure, especially in the back to school shopping department. I love heading to the outlets for things like back to school shopping because in addition to already discounted prices, they usually have lots of great deals for all the back to school shopping season. Here are some tips for back to school shopping at an outlet mall!

Premium Outlets brings together the finest brands, unique outdoor settings, and savings of 25 to 65 percent every day.

Check the Weather

Before you head to any outlet mall for back to school shopping, you may want to consider the weather. Shopping in a torrential downpour would be anything but fun. Just in case unexpected weather comes to town, bring an umbrella just in case.

Make a List of Items You Need

Heading out to the outlet malls will mean lots of fun back to school shopping, but before you go make a list of what you need. Sometimes it’s nice to have a reminder of what you are shopping for, so you don’t get sidetracked and forget why you’re there in the first place.

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Window Shop First for the Best Deals

Outlet malls have a lot of awesome deals, but before you cash in on any of the deals, make sure you look around first. You can always come back and catch the best deals after you’ve looked around.

Download a Shopping App

There are apps you can download to help you save even more at stores. ShopSavvy is one app you can use to ensure you are getting the best deal. When you have a lot of back to school shopping to do, getting the best deal is incredibly important.

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Know the Difference Between the Outlet and Factory Stores

If you want the best deals for back to school shopping, make sure you know the difference between a factory store and an outlet store. Sometimes the factory stores have items that aren’t always top quality that you’d see at the original brand’s store. The actual outlet stores carry items that have phased out of the original stores. They are still of quality but might show some damage (so always check). As long as the goods are good-to-go there’s no reason to skip purchasing them.

Watch Out for the Big Back to School Sales

Outlet malls have the best deals, no doubt, but when they have their back to school sales, you are going to save even more. Parents who have multiple kids can appreciate the fact that the deals are even bigger as the kids head back to school.

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Merrimack Premium Outlets has an extensive and unique retail mix for both moms and kids, with extraordinary savings of 25% – 65% off every day. A few kids’ stores at the center include J. Crew | Crewcuts, Disney Store Outlet, OshKosh B’gosh, Gymboree Outlet, and the brand new Tommy Hilfiger Kids, which just opened last month. Moms can shop everywhere from Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, Bloomingdale’s The Outlet Store, Michael Kors, Ann Taylor Factory Store, White House Black Market, and much more. If you’re looking to update sports equipment or sneakers for gym class, you can stop by Under Armour, Nike Factory Store, New Balance Factory Store, Saucony, Reebok, Puma, ASICS, or the Famous Footwear Outlet. For a full listing of stores please click here.

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The Merrimack Premium Outlets are located at 80 Premium Outlets Boulevard in Merrimack, NH.

Do you live close to an outlet mall? If so, I would love to hear your best tips for back to school shopping at the outlets.

About Taylor Nikaci

99 comments

  1. kristimaloney

    Great tips! I would stop Guest Services and grab the coupon book to see which stores have the best deals. Looks like you guys had a great day!

  2. Catherine S

    I agree, these are great tips. Shopping around for the best price is a terrific idea.

  3. Janine Huldie

    What great tips and I started our back to school shopping here, but still have a ways to go until next week’s start now.

  4. carissagarabedian

    The coupon book is key! Thanks for these tips, I am headed to our outlets this weekend

  5. irishred13

    I live right next to an outlet mall! Love shopping there!

  6. Planet of the Apels

    Those are some great tips. I really only needed to buy shoes. Isaak’s now in the same size as Mica. I got jeans last year on the clearance rack, so we’re good there.

  7. Valerie

    It’s always great when you can find clearance clothes for the next year!

  8. Laura

    We don’t have many outlets in the UK, but I do love our local shopping centre!

  9. Jeanette

    We love outlet malls! We do damage there every time we go. Great tips! You all look like you got a lot of stuff you needed!

  10. Liz Mays

    I haven’t been to any in such a long time. I’m getting the urge again now!

  11. Joyce Brewer (@MommyTalkShow)

    We stopped at an outlet mall in Alabama this summer and saw some great deals. I’ll probably visit the ones here outside of Atlanta when the weather gets colder. For now, our son can keep wearing his short/shirts for summer.

  12. Pam

    I love the outlet malls outside of Atlanta. I am inbetween those and the Pigeon Forge outlets.

  13. Alli

    I do love a good outlet mall! I always visit the outlet stores when I’m at the beach. These are all great tips to ensure you don’t get sidetracked. I like the app idea, too.

  14. becca112971

    son hates back to school shopping so I try to pick things up all summer long. He not a fan of the crowds and the pushing. I on the other hand love a good shopping spree and outlet malls are the best.

  15. Jessica Beal Harlow

    I live relatively close to Freeport, Maine (the home of the L.L. Bean flagship store and so many more factory outlets!) so I can definitely relate to all of your tips on how to make a Back To School shopping trip really work. Good weather is definitely a biggie!

  16. Chubskulit Rose

    I live in a small city so we are missing on things like this as we don’t have it in our area. Looks like a nice place to shop.

  17. Simply Stacie

    Outlet shopping is a great way to save time when shopping especially for back to school, the kids all want different things and brands. It makes it so much easier when they are all in one place!

  18. Michelle Liew

    Packing is always a headache. Glad that you are there for the mums!

  19. Shann Eva

    Great tips! I really didn’t know there was a difference between outlet and factory stores, but that makes total sense. Thanks for all the information!

  20. Jesica H

    I love finding a good deal! Outlet stores are not to close to us, so its a bit of a drive, and more times then not I am very disappointed in the deals. I am sure its one of those, must go often type situations!

  21. lisa

    I love outlet shopping. There are a couple within an hour drive of our home. There are always great deals!

  22. Jasmine Espinal

    I use to live in Merrimack and shopped there a few times. I loved it, they have SO many stores to choose from you can easily make a day of it.

  23. Pam

    I love Outlet Shopping. There are some good ones about 2 hours from us.

  24. Jennifer

    Outlet shopping is the best. You can save so much money! That’s especially important for back to school shopping.

  25. lisa @bitesforbabies

    Back to school shopping…I’m dreading it and I’m excited about it at the same time!!! lol! Usually I have to be back to school shopping for myself (I’m a teacher!) but this year my son is going to kindergarten!!

  26. Catherine S

    This looks like a great Outlet mall. We have a similar one not far from us. It is my go to place to shop for Christmas.

  27. linzwwhite

    Great ideas! I just love shopping so I’ll use these for me lol!

  28. Isabella Grey

    We always used to go the Outlet stores for Back to School! They had such great deals!

  29. sicorra

    I love shopping at the outdoor Premium Outlets whenever we go to the States. So much fun.

  30. Sarah Bailey

    What a fantastic looking place, I could totally see myself shopping there a lot. x

  31. Kelly Hutchinson

    We have an outlet where we live and they always have great deals. I love the Gap and Nike stores there.

  32. Liz Mays

    I never thought outlet stores had additional sales. I just thought they sold at discounts and that was that! Good to know.

  33. Valerie

    I love shopping at outlet malls. You can find so many great deals!

  34. Amber Edwards

    I think it would be so much fun to shop at an outlet mall! I’ve never done that before, but I think it would be a fun experience! Plus i love great deals!

  35. Debbie Denny

    We don’t live close to one. I wish we did. Lots of great finds.

  36. Seattle Travel Blogger

    We live about 10 minutes from an outlet – so convenient! I love how much money you can save over going to the mall.

  37. Jeanine

    We live close to a sears outlet… does that count? We just moved so I really have no idea where or what is around us, I will have to search!

  38. shaunatorres

    I love shopping at outlets for everything, from BTS to the holidays. This one sounds great and love the ability to save more with that app.. Thanks for sharing

  39. Amber NElson

    Outlets are awesome for back to school shopping. This looks nice!

  40. Maria @ closetohome

    I am still not thrilled about taking my 13 year old daughter shopping even with all these great hints. Looks like you are a pro.

  41. Marcie W.

    We have a premium outlet mall near our home and love shopping there. Making a list to know the difference between needs and wants is always a good idea.

  42. Janell @ Saving You Dinero

    I love shopping at outlet malls. We just moved to Kentucky and I am so happy to have one about 20 minutes from my house.

  43. Ora Lee Gurr

    I don’t think anyone can top your suggestion for making a list so you remember why you went there. Reno’s regular mall, Meadowood Mall, is a Simon property and very well maintained. The outlet mall in Sparks continues to add shops, and is quite busy much of the time.

  44. Claudette Esterine

    I simply love outlet shopping – anytime of the year!!

  45. Ann Bacciaglia

    Merrimack Premium Outlets looks like a great place for back to school shopping. I love going to the outlet stores here.

  46. Tammy Roy

    These are great tips for back to school shopping. I always make a list before we head out. I will have to see what outlet stores we have in my area.

  47. Elizabeth Lampman

    I like using shopping apps to save money. I use coupons and price match when i can. Second hand stores are a great way to save money.

  48. Felicita Moncada

    Love shopping at the Outlets! I have a huge mall close to me here in Florida that has a lot of outlet/factory store. I especially love Gap Factory Store. The cutest stuff for huge discounts. Also the Nike Factory store. I’ve gotten my son sneakers for way less then regular stores

  49. Theresa

    Our closest outlet mall is about an hour away, and we go several times a year. We were actually just there 2 weeks ago. I stocked up on some clothes for ME for a change lol.

  50. Vera Sweeney

    I live for shopping!! These are great tips Outlet stores are amazing deals can be had for shopping back to school!

  51. Toni | BoulderLocavore

    These are great tips. I’ve often gone to outlet malls and spent hours only finding stuff I’d really never buy. Your suggestion about the shopping app is great and also being clear on what you are going to buy to stay focused.

  52. Sabrina @ Dinner, then Dessert

    A lot of back to school “sales” are just traps to lure you in! Make sure the prices you’re getting are good!

  53. Claudia Krusch

    We have just finished back to school shopping, we went to the outlets as well! Love the sales!

  54. Mimi "MimiCuteLips" Green

    We have a rather new outlet mall near us. Finally! Back to school shopping isn’t as fun or painful as it could be. My son wears a uniform so there isn’t much to do other than make sure he can still fit them. We did buy his sneakers from Tanger Outlet this time.

  55. Stephanie @CopyKat.com

    You definitely have the back to school shopping down. I need to see if one of these Outlets are around my house.

  56. censie

    Looks like a great place to visit. I love outdoor malls!

  57. socialite123l

    Thanks for the tips. I didn’t know there was a difference between an Outlet Mall and Factory store . I’ve been hearing a lot about those Shopping Aps

  58. Crystal

    We have an outlet mall about 45 minutes away. It isn’t somewhere we go often, but it’s great for times like these. It can be overwhelming if I don’t stick to my list.

  59. Autumn @Mamachallenge

    Awesine tips! I love shopping at our local outet mall.

  60. Elizabeth O.

    Yep, I wait for sales too, so at least even if it’s not a factory outlet, we get it at a discounted price. Al the tips are very effective!

  61. Annie M

    I love shopping at the outlets! Same quality for cheaper, woot!

  62. rochkirstin

    As kids, shopping in premium outlets with parents is always fun. Now things turn different. Whenever we shop, it’s my mom who feels more excited since I always treat her to the items she wants to buy.

  63. Aubrey

    Outlets are th best. So many fun stores in one place.

  64. Laura O'Neill (@LauraOinAK)

    We don’t have outlet malls here in Alaska, but I used to shop at them all the time back east and in the south. They can be a great place for deals and the new apps would make it even easier to find what you need at a fabulous price.

  65. Dogvills

    The kids were back ti school last week and I have finished shopping for them. These are great and useful tips that I can use for my next purchases.

  66. Mykidsguide

    We have a few outlet malls here in our area and that’s where I usually shop. I just love their great deals.

  67. Ourfamilyworld

    I love shopping at outlet malls. Their prices are incredible and there many items to choose from.

  68. indah nuria Savitri

    I loveeeee premium outlets..we usually go to the Woodburry, the closest one from here. And I can go crazy hereeee :). ANd the kids love it as well..

  69. Krystal's Kitsch

    We have a ton of outlets here in southwest Florida but I never make an effort to shop there. I should so I can SAVE!

  70. milenabarrett

    We live close to an outlet, but I haven’t been in ages. Parking is a drag, but now you’ve sparked an interest in me. I should go check it out.

  71. tracey

    I love shopping at outlets. I live close to the American border and you guys have the best outlets so I hop over a lot to shop.

  72. Megan @ C'mon Get Crafty

    We have an outlet mall not far from our house, and I’ve been fighting the urge to go since I know I will find LOTS more that I want to buy than is budget friendly!

  73. Mama to 5 BLessings

    Sounds like this outlet mall has a great selection. I love Gymborree, one of my favorite kids stores!

  74. michele d

    We have tons of outlets here in Florida. The ones near me are surrounded by tourists. I don’t get over there as often as I would like. But when I do, I find great deals.

  75. Jason Young

    That’s a very nice looking outdoor mall and a great place to go this time of year for B2S sales.

  76. victoria

    I agree this is really great Outlet shopping is a great way to save time when shopping especially for back to school, Since my son was back to school next week we do shopping on weekends

  77. livingoffloveandcoffee

    I really wish we lived close to an outlet mall but it’s quite a drive away. These are some awesome ways to save.

  78. Christie

    I never thought about the difference between factory store and outlet until you wrote about it! Great tips for shopping and saving!

  79. Digna Dreibelbis

    Looks like a great place to shop! I still need to shop for my son, we start later on the east coast.

  80. SixFeetUnderBlog

    I love outlet malls. We have one close by and we like to go there often.

  81. angelaweight

    I’ve always wondered what the difference is between an outlet and a factory store. Thanks! Gotta go back to school shopping for my boys as well. Thanks for the tips.

  82. Emily

    Great advice! I’m all for school shopping in an efficient and affordable way.

  83. Shell Things (@shellthings)

    I love outlet shopping! Sometimes I do go when it rains, just because it’s a lot less crowded.

  84. Camesha | Mama Motivator

    I didn’t know there was a difference between outlet and factory stores. See, you learn something new every day.

  85. Lena

    I am all about back to school sales – SHOP ON!

  86. Nickida

    We live near a few outlet stores. We went to one in Lancaster PA for my birthday earlier this year.

  87. casavilorainteriors

    That looks like a fun place to shop. Even your boys are into shopping. that is great

  88. Maureen

    Discount and outlet shopping are the way to go. It is amazing how much you can save when you do that!

  89. Christina Aliperti

    We get our best deals for the whole family at outlets. It’s amazing how much you can save from shopping regular retail stores.

  90. toxict15

    I literally had no clue there was a difference between outlet and factory stores. Awesome

  91. Alison

    I love outlet mall shopping, we have a few simon malls in our region that I shop at pretty regularly. They always make back to school shopping a little easier on the old pocket book

  92. Uplifting Families

    I love finding good deals on clothing. We have a few supposed outlet malls around here. I find that their outlet prices aren’t always the best price. I suggest using your phone to comparison shop. Amazon is sometimes cheaper on the same item. If you have prime, it’s to your house in two days.

  93. Stowed Stuff

    I’ve never shopped here! We’ll have to check it out sometime!

  94. Kristin

    This reminds me…I haven’t been outlet shopping in forever! It’s time!

  95. Yona Williams

    I love checking out the sales at a Premium Outlet. We have one about 45 minutes away in Waterloo, NY.

  96. Gabriel Bregg

    I didn’t know the distinction between a factory store and an outlet, though I did know that you have to watch for stuff that might be seconds. Still great deals though.

  97. Christina Aliperti

    One of my tips is to know your sizes in different brands. The closest outlets are a few hours away so avoiding buying things that are too small or big is important to me.

  98. alexisakamom0616

    I love the outlets here! The Nike Clearance store is my fav!!!

  99. natdarcy21

    It is funny how weather can make or break a shopping trip like you described. I have experienced many chaotic trips that only went downhill once the rain began to fall. Also, school shopping can be tricky when you have multiple kids. Making a list is a brilliant way to make sure that each one gets the things that they need. Thank you for such a helpful article, I will be applying your tips soon!

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