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The Outlet Company Collection

Historical note

The Outlet Company was located at 168-176 Weybosset Street in Providence, Rhode Island. Established in 1897 by two brothers, Joseph and Leon Samuels, The Outlet Company grew to become one of the largest department stores in southern New England, engulfing an entire city block in Providence’s downtown. The store sold furniture, clothing, cosmetics, housewares and held a restaurant with a soda fountain.

In 1922, the Outlet expanded into broadcasting by forming the first affiliated station of the NBC Red Network, WJAR. In 1980-1981, the Outlet closed its retail operations in favor of broadcasting and media pursuits. Eventually the company was sold in 1984. On October 16, 1986 the Outlet Company’s former building experienced a fire, and what remained was bought by Johnson and Wales University, who built dormitories on the land.