Outlet mall shopping in San Marcos, Texas

3 September 2014

We started off the Labor Day weekend with an outlet mall shopping marathon!

I thought that there might be better discounts over a holiday, so I planned for this trip from way back in early August. I’ve been excited about outlet malls in the US since everyone seems to buy loads of stuff (read: discounted prices) and the ones in Japan are so… un-discounted.

There are 2 outlet malls in San Marcos, side by side! San Marcos Premium Outlets and Tanger Outlets.

To beat the crowd – I read online that if you arrive later in the morning, it will be very crowded and difficult to find parking – we arrived at 9am, right when the malls open!

TADAH! (click for full view)

San Marcos Premium Outlets is huuuge. This panorama captures only about 1/4 of the whole area!

I just googled and found that the area of San Marcos Premium Outlets is 93,000 m2!!! That’s more than twice the size of the most popular (and I believe largest) outlet mall in Japan – Gotemba Premium Outlets! Gotemba has more shops though (210 vs San Marcos’ 145) and the view and shopping experience at Gotemba is unbeatable. View of Mt Fuji, hello?

That said, on our last and only visit to Gotemba, I didn’t leave with a single thing except pasta in my belly, so I guess in the end, it’s still the discounts that count at outlet malls!

San Marcos Premium Outlets

At San Marcos Premium Outlets, the selection of items is not the best, stock is generally at least a couple of seasons back, and deeply discounted items are usually the very large sizes. I guess that’s the way outlet shops are?

But we still managed to score a rather decent haul. Mostly sports brands though! Lol. I peeked in at Tory Burch, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, but nothing caught my interest.

Many reviews online complained about the lack of “premium” food at a premium outlet. Pffft. Are you there to shop or there on a Michelin food tour?

For the record, this was what we had.

BBQ brisket and sausage – typical Texan food. $10.81.

Chinese for me again lol. $7.03.

Granted, they weren’t the best thing I’ve ever tasted in my life. But all we needed was something decent to fill our stomach before hitting the shops.

Tsk. Priorities, people, priorities!

Tanger Outlets

Tanger Outlets didn’t really have shops we were interested in, save Adidas. So if one is short on time, skip Tanger Outlets.

What kind of discounts are there?

I can only speak for the brands we bought from, since I didn’t bother remembering for the shops I only browsed. But you can get a rough projection of discounts for other stores!

Gap – Spend $50, get a $25 voucher.
What we didn’t know is that the voucher can only be used in October, with a min. $50 spending -_-

Asics – Buy 1, get 1 50% off

Nike – 40% off

Aldo – 30% off

VS – This place is like a fish market with all the crazy ladies flipping through dirt-cheap underwear. E.g. $1.99 undies.

Under Armour – 20% off

Body Shop – Buy 2, get 20% off. Buy 3, get 30% off etc. I bought 5 to get 50% off! :D (that’s the max btw)

Adidas – 50% off red-tag items, 30% off accessories.

Note that these discounts are on top of the outlet prices, which are typically 20-30% off regular store prices.

MVP (Most Valuable Purchase)

The best buy for me came from Adidas! Zhen wanted me to help her get ankle socks, which go for about $7 a pair in Singapore. I found it here for $9.99 before 30% discount. After discount, it’s $6.99.


In closing

I have to commend Fu on his stamina. You know how most guys typically dislike shopping and will entirely stop functioning beyond the 2nd hour (if that!) or so trailing behind their other halves?


We shopped from 9am till… 9.30pm. Yes, that’s 12.5 hours.

We were there literally from the time they opened, till half an hour before they closed! We were thinking if we should have stayed the remaining 30 mins so that we can say we were there the entire day lol. I mean, surely that’s some kind of record?

All shopped out!

Bottom row: His new acquisitions of the day

At the end of the day, I was busying myself, shuttling between the room, bathroom and living area. Fu called out while lying belly down and paralyzed on the bed,  “Aren’t you tired?!!”

I replied, “Hmm? I’m okay.”

He shook his head and said “Girls can easily complete marathons. Just need to put water shopping points along the route.”

A while later, he added “Can you help me massage my legs?”

This, coming from an Ironman. Perhaps even I will be able to complete a marathon after all! :D


  • Reply zhen 3 September 2014 at 10:15 pm

    WISH I WAS THERE TO SHOP TILL WE DROP! Maybe you won’t drop, you’re the champion shopper.. hehe

    • Reply Rin 4 September 2014 at 3:43 am

      Yeah, I think you’ll love it here! And probably never leave :D

  • Reply Our schedule • tripleRIN 26 September 2014 at 4:28 pm

    […] – Drove to San Marcos outlets again because the silly boy said he wanted to buy me something for our anniversary Only had 2 […]

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