TUPELO • After decades of providing outlet prices on brand-name clothing, the VF Outlet store in Tupelo is closing.
Sales are ongoing at the store, located in the Tupelo Outlet Mall on South Eason Boulevard. Most shoppers refer to the complex as the VF outlet mall since it’s the lone large anchor remaining. Two smaller apparel stores – Bon Worth and Cook’s Fashions – as well as a couple of even smaller vendors are the remaining shops.
Clerks at the VF store were telling shoppers that all sales are final, as the store is closing Dec. 24.
The Tupelo Outlet Mall opened in 1973, and the 134,762-square-foot building has been owned by DPI Inc. in California since 2008.
DPI has not yet responded to the Daily Journal regarding the future of the complex.
VF, or Vanity Fair, opened the first multi-store outlet center in Reading, Pennsylvania in 1970. VF has a plethora of brands under its umbrella, including Lee, Wrangler, Nautica, Vanity Fair, Majestic, JanSport, Angels, Derek Heart, Timber Creek, Riders, Reef, Olga, Warner’s and others.
VF has 64 stores nationwide, including two others in Mississippi, in Pearl and Gulfport.
The Tupelo Outlet Mall was put on the auction block in 2016, but there were no takers. In a 2017 interview, DPI said it was “committed” to reinvigorate the mall and finding new tenants. DPI also said at the time some minor renovations to the center were in order, including new paint. But those plans haven’t come to fruition and “For Sale” and “For Lease” signs have dotted the property since.
Vanity Fair’s roots began with The Reading Glove and Mitten Manufacturing Co. in 1899, which later evolved into Vanity Fair. VF acquired H.D. Lee Co. in 1969 and Blue Bell, which included Wrangler and Red Kap holdings in Tupelo, in 1986.
In August 2018, it was announced that VF would be splitting into two separate companies. The jeans and outlet stores would be spun off as Kontoor Brands. VF maintained the sports apparel and footwear businesses and moved its corporate headquarters to Denver, Colorado. Kontoor Brands Inc. became a separate company with the stock symbol KTB on May 23, 2019. Kontoor includes Lee, Wrangler, Rock & Republic and VF Outlets.