Just 50 miles southeast of Huntsville is a Shopper's Paradise--Boaz, Alabama. There you will find 5 Outlet Malls, back to back, featuring over 100 different stores and most within walking distance of each other. Named after a Biblical character in the Book of Ruth, Boaz is a small town of 7,000 nestled in the foothills of the Appalachians on the plateau of Sand Mountain. Boaz is proud to combine it's friendly hometown atmosphere with the serious business of shopping.
The Outlets started in 1982 with Vanity Fair, followed by the Boaz Outlet Center in 1984 and then Fashion Outlets. Soon Tanger Factory Outlet Center and Factory Stores of America Outlet Centers followed.
There is also an outlet from the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Boaz. Sho Pro Inc. opened an 8 screen movie theatre in the outlet area in May 2000. This is a nice addition for family and friends who want to take a break from the long shopping day.
Be sure and stop by the Factory Direct Center offices and pick up a coupon book before you start your day. They also have promos where you can earn a free gift with cash receipts totaling a certain amount from the many stores. When I was there, you could get three ceramic snowmen with purchases totaling $200. You should also ask at each store if they have a coupon before making your purchase. They usually won't mention it if you don't ask and you can save a lot more by using the coupons.
If you can, take a baby with you! They have the cutest strollers available for renting. They are in the shape of fat little cars and trains in bright colors and make you wish you needed to use one.
My son and I went shopping for most of one day and only make it through 2 of the Outlet Malls. It would take several days to do this Outlet Center justice. The first thing we found were some dress shirts at Geoffrey Beene that I'd been calling all over Chicago trying to locate. And, they were about half the price as in Chicago. It was a wonderful experience to go shopping with your grown son, even if you don't get to go to many of the women's stores. I noticed in Ralph Lauren a variety of mothers and sons of all ages shopping together. It was serious business and the sons were listening to their mothers!
Boaz's reputation for outlet shopping has grown nationwide and people come from all over. You can write for a free Outlet Mall brochure from the Boaz Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 563, Boaz, Alabama 35957 or call them at 256-593-8154 or 1-800-SHOP-BOAZ. Whether you think of shopping as a hobby, serious pastime, or personal challenge, you won't want to miss checking out the Boaz Outlet Malls.