Tag Archives: ShoreWest/Urban Street

Maybe It’s the Factory Outlet Stores That Make West Michiganders Cheap

(Note this story originally appeared in the the August/September 2011 version of Urban Street | Shore West Magazine)

West Michigan has a reputation…thrifty, cheap, frugal, any way you put it West Michiganders like a deal, or so they say.

But there may be a reason for this; our region is home to a large number of manufacturers.  Often times these manufacturers have overruns, returns, or just old inventory that they need to get rid of.  Lucky for us many of these corporations have factory outlets stores that are open to the public.  These factory outlet stores enable the manufacturers to move some of their extra, old, or returned products, which are available at considerable discount to patrons of the store.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the outlet stores, and see what we may find.

As the name implies, Lakeshore Candle Company produces candles.  These candles are hand poured in their Zeeland facility, where they also have an outlet store at 9434 Pentatech Drive.  According to President Jon Haveman, the store was started as a way to move candles that do not meet their stringent quality standards for their retail store customers.  So often times the outlet store may feature “second quality” candles, which may be up to 50%, discount.  “Second quality” means that the candles have small defects like the wick isn’t centered, or the color is the wrong hue, or maybe label issues, none of which affect how the candle’s performance and fragrance.  Those with non-discriminating eyes, these “second quality” candles are just as good as the ones shipped to customers.  Lakeshore Candle Company’s outlet store is open 10 to 4 Monday through Friday.

Another well-known local manufacturer is Haworth, one of the leading producers of office furniture and workspaces, and they too have a factory outlet store.  But their story is a little more unique.  Haworth has a zero waste to landfill policy, meaning that they do not send any garbage to a landfill.  Recycling and re-using are of huge importance to Haworth.  The outlet store at 1451-100 M-40 in Holland, sells a wide variety of items.  In addition to production overruns, returns, and old products, you might even find some items coming from Haworth’s own facilities that they can no longer use.  So not only could you furnish your home office, but you might also pick up fabric to reupholster the couch, locker to store items in the garage, and even find some extra corporate gifts that might look great in your new office.  You’d surprised at what you may find, and the inventory changes very quickly so be sure to check back often for new items.  According to Haworth, it’s recommend to call the store ahead of time to confirm hours as there may be special sale or inventory hours.  Normal hours are Monday through Thursday 10 to 6, and Friday 7 to 4, and the store can be reached at 616-393-4300.

If you are willing to take a little drive to Allegan, you can also purchase medicine, vitamins, and other healthcare items for a significant discount (as long as you don’t mind the generic labels) from the Perrigo factory outlet store.  Perrigo is a leading manufacturer of over the counter medicines and vitamins, and prescription pharmaceutical products.  The outlet store is at 300 Water Street in Allegan, and their hours of operation are 11 to 5 Monday through Friday, and 9 to 1 on Saturday.  The store can be reached at 269-673-7962.

For those of you still looking for deals be sure to check out the following places as well:

  • Holland Bar Stool Company at 12839 Corporate Circle Place in Holland, has an outlet store where you can pick up stools.  Visit www.barstoolshowroom.com for more details.
  • Zeeland based Herman Miller, another leading office furniture manufacturer, uses Office Outlet at 455 West Washington Street in Zeeland, as their outlet store.  For more information visit www.officeoutlet.net.

Maybe West Michigan does not deserve its reputation as being cheap, but with so many local manufacturers selling their products at discounted prices, how can you resist.

By the way a special thanks to Haworth and Lakeshore Candle Company for answering some questions and providing additional information about their outlet stores.


Etsy in West Michigan in ShoreWest / Urban Street

West Michigan has a pretty active Etsy community, one of the cool things about Etsy is that you can search for vendors by location.  Which makes Etsy a great way to support local crafters and artisans this holiday season.  Read more about West Michigan Etsy in my latest article in ShoreWest /Urban Street

Handcrafted in West Michigan Dec10-Jan11 Urban Street

Another Story in ShoreWest/Urban St. Magazine – Cornhole!

Once again I have another story (here is the 1st) in ShoreWest/Urban St. Magazine, a local lakeshore area bi-monthly publication for the Grand Haven, Holland, and Saugatuck/Douglas communities.

It’s about cornhole so check it out here –  ShoreWest Oct-Nov 2010 – Cornhole Article .  The story talks about two local companies in the cornhole business – Michigan Custom Cornhole a board manufacturer in Zeeland and Great Lakes Cornhole Bags a bag producer in Hudsonville.

Welcome Urban Street Readers & Everyone Else

I just wanted to extent a welcome to any Urban Street Magazine readers who stumbled their way onto my blog. As an introduction, I blog about West Michigan business news that I find interesting, odd, or cool, check out my About page for more details. To those who haven’t stumbled on my blog through Urban Street, please go pick one up along the Lakeshore (any of the downtown stores in either Holland, Saugatuck, Douglas, or Grand Haven would be a good bet – email me if you can’t find one or if you are not from the area).

The reason why I am telling you to grab a free Urban Street Magazine is because I wrote an article in the latest issue on Spring Meadow Nursery in Grand Haven. It was an opportunity that afforded itself to me through this blog, so it was quite cool knowing that my blog lead to getting an article published. Here is a PDF of my article in Urban Street.

So thanks for stopping by and reading, and let me know your thoughts on the article.