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With all of this talk about outlet malls and how there's a new one to open later this year in Rosemont, let's not forget the less crowded ones, the malls that are still going strong and bussing tour groups and locals in to save and score on brands that you're comfortable with and--though may not be luxury--still have longevity.
Around Chicago right now there are three that you've heard of: Prime Outlets Huntley Mall, Gurnee Mills Outlet Mall, and Chicago Premium Outlets Mall. The one with the most foot traffic, though and still pretty accessible with a new bus leaving from Union Station is the Chicago Premium Outlets.
Shops range from Gap and J. Crew to the more upscale Kate Spade, Coach, Giorgio Armani and Elie Tahari. In all there are over 120 stores and each one stocks merch that couldn't make it out the door at full price, at 25%-65% off. Even better, it's only 45 minutes west of Downtown.
Throughout the summer the mall is pushing the VIP Shopper Club with offers extra discounts and the shops are banding together next Thursday, July 4 through Sunday July 7 for deeper discounts. And trust us: they can't get much lower. We were there last week and saw a DVD player at the Sony store for $15; dresses at Calvin Klein for $18; and 7 jeans for $49. Yes, it's a little far but totally worth the trip.
· The Chicago Premium Outlets [Official Site]