When Fall River was known for its many factory outlets


A colleague in her 30s from Fall River was surprised to learn that her hometown was once known for its many factory outlets. Indeed it was.

While there are still factory outlet stores in Fall River today, there aren’t nearly as many as there were a few decades ago, when busloads of shoppers arrived daily in search of bargains, many of which were manufactured in the same facilities that housed the outlets. New Bedford and Dartmouth had outlet stores, but Fall River was a mecca for outlet shoppers.

My colleague found out about all of this when she stumbled across one items by doing Hartford Courant Connecticut newspaper of May 25, 1992. The current‘s article, written by staff writer Donna Larcen, focused on the “Heart District,” which she described as four main mill buildings containing 70 of the approximately 100 factory outlet stores then in existence in Fall River.

Larcen told her readers that there were plenty of bargains to be had at the Fall River Mills.

“We found great deals in men’s and women’s athletic wear, shoes, home goods, underwear, coats, suits and leather goods,” she wrote.

Some of the bargain outlets that Larcen liked the most 30 years ago were Levi’s Store, where she found jeans and Dockers clothing, Holland’s for Women, GH Bass & Co., Farberware Outlet Store, DJ’s Women’s Factory Shoe Outlet , Burlington Coat Factory, Toy Liquidators , $2 Book Store, Yankee Maternity and Children, Chef’s Warehouse and Louis Hand.

I had forgotten all the factory outlets in Fall River until my colleague reminded me. Many of the manufacturers who supplied these outlet stores have now closed or moved away, as have the stores.

Remember scouring Fall River’s factory outlet stores for bargains? Which stores have you visited and which ones do you miss the most?

Here are 50 of your favorite retail chains that are no longer around.


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