Back-to-School shopping is the time all of Michigan is looking for a great deal on clothes, shoes and supplies. There's no better place to find those deals than a giant outlet mall... and maybe find a few things for yourself, too.

We've got tons of pictures to share of the Midwest's former largest outlet mall, right here in The Mitten.

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What does the outlet mall in Birch Run Michigan look like now?

Over the weekend, we visited Birch Run Premium Outlets for the first time in several years and were pleasantly surprised to see how many stores are still in business (more are opening this year).

The building exteriors haven't changed much, and the parking lot needs a few potholes patched & parking spaces need fresh paint, you can't complain about the collection of stores.

Main Entrance
Main Entrance 2023, Credit: Nate Reed

There's even a dog park in case you're making a pit stop headed to or from Up North and someone in the car gets the urge to shop.

Vacant store fronts

The outlets in Birch Run seem to have a strategy for filling the storefronts people see when they first drive in. Way in the back (where Dress Barn, Rue 21 and Oneida used to be) the two sides are completely empty, and the parking lot is closed. They advertise availability on the buildings, of course.

Since the area is already a major tourist attraction... maybe they could think out of the box and build a hotel/water park back there? That would attract families for mini getaways. One parent could entertain the kids while the other shops.  Plus, there's plenty of dining options in the area.

What Does Premium Outlets in Birch Run, Michigan Look Like Today?

Michigan's most legendary outlet mall opened in 1986, located just off I-75 approximately halfway between Flint and Saginaw. The mall was originally named Manufacturer's Marketplace/Prime Outlets at Birch Run.

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