Despite the dreary weather mixed with torrential rain, thousands of shoppers flocked to Toronto’s new Premium Outlet Mall (TPO) last week; many waiting up to two hours to enter the overflowing parking zones. In fact, nearby empty fields were used to accommodate the thousands of cars. Located a 30 min drive west of Toronto in the suburb of Milton, TPO is a similar experience to its counterparts in the U.S. Its racetrack type layout makes it easy to shop the entire area while flowing through the spacious isles.
However, the mix of outdoor and somewhat covered space does make it a bit challenging to avoid the elements.
The Tenant Mix
The mix of 85 stores of higher end brands includes Coach, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Burberry and the UK’s Ted Baker.
Mixed amongst the premium brands you will find Banana Republic, GAP, J.Crew and Guess to name a few. You will also find Hudson’s Bay’s first outlet store.
Mixed in with the retail giants is Toronto’s own Tom’s Place, a well-known Kensington Market go-to, which is famous for its huge selection and discount prices on men’s suits.
Situated in the centre is a food pavilion with a limited selection of eateries.
What’s missing from the mix? Limited options for kids with only The Children Place and Gap. While teens is somewhat better represented with Aeropostale, Gap, Zumiez, Hot Topic, Bluenotes, American Eagle Outfitters and Garage.
What Do The Customers Think?
Well, judging from the handfuls of bags in shoppers’ hands as well as the long line ups (in the rain) to get ‘the deal,’ we’d say they are enthusiastic about this new shopping experience.
As for the ‘deals,’ opening celebrations included additional savings typically from 25-50% off the already reduced prices.
Are the deals the same (or better) than crossing the border? No, but certainly the proximity to the GTA and no cross border duty is something to consider.