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Empire Outlets on Staten Island: New York City’s first outlet mall!

A lot of tourists love to shop when they travel to the United States – and the famous outlets always end up being part of the destinations of those who want to find good prices and discounts. Until recently, people visiting New York City needed to go out of the city to shop at outlets. But that changed in 2019 with the opening of Empire Outlets on Staten Island. Empire Outlets is the first and only outlet in New York City – Staten Island is one of the city’s five boroughs. Its prime location and easy access make the Empire Outlets a very convenient shopping destination. Next, let’s check more information and tips about the place!

Empire Outlets

Empire Outlets is New York City’s premier outdoor shopping and dining center. With its picture-perfect views of lower Manhattan, a lush landscaped plaza with tranquil fountains, and access to some of the best deals, Empire Outlets is unlike any other shopping destination in the city. It is located in Staten Island, steps from the Staten Island Ferry, featuring a great variety of stores and dining options, besides advantages like being so conveniently close to Manhattan!

How to get there

The easiest way to get to the Empire Outlets is to ride the Staten Island Ferry, the ferry that runs between Manhattan and Staten Island.

  • Take the Staten Island Ferry from Whitehall Terminal in downtown Manhattan to St. George Terminal. The ferry station is next to Battery Park and you can use 1,4,5,R or W subway lines.
  • The ferry is free!
  • Enjou the ride – beautiful views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan’s skyline – make sure to stay at the right side of the ferry.
  • Upon arriving at the St. George Terminal, turn right and follow signs for North Shore Esplanade. From there, it’s less than a five-minute walk to Empire Outlets
  • The Ferry runs 24 hours a day/7 days a week and departs every 30 minutes. Check the full Staten Island Ferry schedule.
  • NYC Ferry recently launched a new route between Manhattan and Staten Island – the ride is $2,75.

Empire Outlets design

The Empire Outlets has the design of an “Open Mall”, divided into a few levels. It is very easy to explore the shops and restaurants. Plus, there’s plenty of open space and areas to sit and relax in between shopping. Another highlight of the Empire Outlets is its privileged view of Manhattan – you will definitely take excellent photos – shopping with a view is not bad, right?

Taxes

In New York City, clothing and footwear under $110 are exempt from city and state sales tax. Purchases above $110 are subject to a 4.5% NYC Sales Tax and a 4% NY State Sales Tax. As Staten Island is part of the city, you can take advantage of that when shopping at Empire Outlets. Remember: taxes are calculated by item.

Stores/ brands

With + 20 stores, the selection of brands and stores available at Empire Outlets includes a wide range of products and categories. Clothing for the most diverse occasions, shoes, sporting items, perfumes, accessories: you can make excellent purchases in stores with famous brands known to the public, as well as the opportunity to get to know local brands and their unique products. All the stores below had great deals when I was there!

  • Aerie – great for lingerie, basic items, and athletic clothing.
  • American Eagle – denim is excellent and there is a great selection of clothes for men and women.
  • Banana Republic Factory Store – love Banana Republic for formal clothing, especially if you are looking for office outfits.
  • Columbia Factory Store – excellent for winter clothing.
  • Cotton On – a great basics selection with affordable prices.
  • Gap Factory Store – do I need to say anything? Besides that, the kid’s department is great!
  • H&M – fast fashion.
  • Ioptics – for prescription glasses and sunglasses.
  • Jewelers on Fifth – jewelry and watches.
  • Johnston & Murphy – men’s clothing; great selection of shoes.
  • Levi’s Outlet Store – another brand that needs no introduction.
  • Lids – for hats.
  • Nike Factory Store – besides the sneakers, you will find a lot of sports clothing and athletic clothing.
  • Nordstrom Rack – great store for deals in beauty, accessories, clothing, shoes and decor from famous brands.
  • Old Navy Outlet – Gap vibes with an excellent kid’s section.
  • Parfum Europa – for discounted perfumes.
  • Patterns & Dots – affordable clothing for women.
  • Samsonite – luggage.
  • Walgreens – drugstore shopping.

PLUS: the stores below are great for discovering small and local brands – they offer clothes, crafts, accessories, cosmetics and much more:

  • Lo’Kel-Li
  • Vanity House Designs
  • Kinetik
  • #Badassbootcamp

Dining

If you’re going to be spending a lot of time at the Empire Outlets – believe me, if you’re going to visit all the stores, you’re gonna need some time  – and you need to eat, there is no shortage of options at the Empire Outlets.

Quick snacks

  • Bake Culture – pastries, teas and coffee
  • Haagen-Dazs – ice cream
  • Kung Fu Tea – bubble tea
  • Starbucks – coffee and snacks
  • Wetzel’s Pretzels – pretzels
  • Shake Shack – fast food

Dine in

  • Nori Sushi Shop – sushi
  • Wasabi Japanese Steakhouse and Nori Sushi – we had an amazing experience at this restaurant!
  • Clinton Hall – opening soon! – bar & pub, with a lot of beers and great food

Final thoughts

I have been at Empire Outlets twice before making this visit to write this post. I have to say that I was positively impressed by the structure of the place – neat, clean, conveniently located next to the ferry station, fantastic views – all these details make the shopping experience more enjoyable. Plus, you don’t spend on transportation or taxes (depending on the items you’re buying) – and you don’t even have to leave the city to shop. I’ve also really liked the selection of stores so far – and in the future, the place will have more options! I think it’s very worthwhile to analyze your shopping list and see if it matches the Empire Outlets store options.

Another tip: I recommend downloading the Retail Me Not app and having it at hand to search for coupons for extra discounts. Also, I always recommend asking staff if there are any extra discounts or special promotions. I say this because there are several stores that offer some discounts, for example, when you provide your email (Nike and H&M, for example, give this type of discount).

 

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This post was sponsored by Empire Outlets – all the opinions are mine.

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