A number of companies manufacture clothing. But merely manufacturing garments is not enough. There ought to be outlets that let ordinary people purchase the manufactured clothes. Apparel retail stores have come up in large amounts all over the world. The global apparel retail industry has reached more than $1031.5 billion in modern times. America leads the market with many of its retail stores having a global presence.

Walmart, Abercrombie and Fitch, Marks and Spencer, Zara, Mango, and many others are some of the famous retail stores of the world. They buy branded clothes and apparels at wholesale prices, add their profit margin to each of the clothes, and finally sell them to the ordinary public through the medium of their stores. Globally recognized retail stores make billions as profits by indulging in this kind of a trade.

Many times, manufacturers do not supply all their products to retail stores. They have their own outlets which are exclusively erected to sell only their products. Since manufacturers sell their products directly to customers (without the medium of a retail store), the products prove to be cheaper to consumers. It also gives manufacturers a second chance to sell their additional stock, stock with minor defaults, etc.

Consumers may wish to wear certain brands, but getting them from a retail store may prove expensive to them. Approaching a factory outlet instead may prove inexpensive to them. Many times consumers get the same quality as a retail store or only a bit less in a factory outlet for a lower price. Manufacturers benefit from such stores, as they can get rid of their old stock that may otherwise be rejected by retail stores.

Both the outlets have their own advantages and disadvantages. It is hard to argue which one is better. Brand conscious consumers who need to maintain a certain standard of living in the society usually resort to retail stores. They get garments of latest fashion and of best quality in such stores. Others, who like to wear brands but also need to consider their price, may prefer to purchase from factory outlets instead.

Various reports have been published that indicate the quantity of apparel shopping done all over the world. According to Katherine R. Clarke, Vice President & Client Development, Kantar Retail, researches indicate that almost 10 percent of monthly shopping for clothes is done from factory outlet malls.