Bargain-hunting shoppers are heading to outlet centers in search of the best deals, but they still expect the service levels they find at traditional malls, and a growing number of centers are obliging. Retailers are investing more to improve outlet-store designs and stepping up staffing to boost personalized service, such as the recent men's sale at Saks Fifth Avenue's Off Fifth, which offered shoppers the chance to meet with an associate before the event and select items that were held until the sale started.

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