An outlet for outlet shoppers

November 25, 1993|By Sheila Anne Feeney | Sheila Anne Feeney,New York Daily News

Some people spend their vacations reveling in the natural wonders of the world. Then there are those who spend their free time spending. To their minds, Yellowstone or Mount Rushmore can't hold a candle to the racks of a Burlington Coat Factory or Bugle Boy outlet.

"People plan their vacations around outlet shopping. You can do that with most outlets because they're located off major highways," says Dawn Frankfort.

Ms. Frankfort is editor in chief of The Joy of Outlet Shopping, an annual guide to bargain outlet stores that sells for $5.95.

Having expanded in format, circulation and editorial content since it debuted five years ago, Joy now contains a national directory of 9,000 outlet stores, fashion advice, shopping tips and money-off coupons.

President Clinton's mother, Virginia Kelley, a retired nurse/anesthetist, boasting her trademark skunk-striped hair and demi-lashes, tells Ms. Frankfort in the most recent issue what defines a shirt as expensive (a price tag above $20), and talks about her devotion to outlet shopping (she's in her 10th year) and how she dresses her "whole family" in sweaters she buys from a Cape Isle Knitters outlet in Hot Springs Factory Mall in Arkansas.

How much does Ms. Kelley love outlets? Well, she accepted Ms. Frankfort's offer to serve as managing editor of Joy during their tete-a-tete.

Ms. Frankfort, who used to work in an ad agency hyping lacy lingerie with Joan Collins' name on it, is not oblivious to the power of celebrity names in marketing.

A feature she plans on continuing is the gossip column consisting of what parsimonious celebrities have been sighted at which outlets:

Woodbury Commons in Central Valley, N.Y., has seen Christie Brinkley, Billy Joel and Susan Lucci. Brooke Shields was spotted at the Lawrence Riverfront Plaza Factory Outlets in Lawrence, Kan.

Outlet nuts can order the Clearwater, Fla., publication by calling (800) 344-6397. Plan to pay an extra $1.50 for postage and handling.

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