New York is a retail wonderland. From SoHo to Fifth Avenue to Chinatown, you can’t walk a block in this city without passing a store. Luckily, there’s plenty of neighborhoods for all your shopping needs.
SoHo has a centuries-long history of fashion. It was New York City’s original “5th Avenue Shopping District” back in the early 1800s, was known as the city’s Garment District from the 1850s to the 1950s, and is now home to many high-end NYC shops.
You can find chain stores, such as Bloomingdale’s and Old Navy on Broadway, but head to the side streets for the high-end shopping. Stores such as Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton and Chanel line the cobblestone streets.
Outlets and Budget Shopping
New York may be known for its high fashion but it’s also home to plenty of last-year’s fashions too. You can find some great deals at the following places.
Take an hour-long bus ride or drive outside of the city to one of the most popular outlet malls in the Northeast. You’ll find at least 30 percent off in most stores at Woodbury Commons. Stores include Saks Off 5th, North Face and Williams Sonoma.
You don’t need to travel far for a great deal in New York. Brooklyn’s Fulton Mall has plenty of outlets and budget shopping, too. American Eagle, the Gap and Ann Taylor all have locations here. There’s even a Macy’s nearby. When you’re hungry, you can take a break at the DeKalb Market Hall.
Europe has TK Maxx, the rest of America has TJ Maxx and New Yorkers have Century 21. This cavernous department store sells last year’s fashions and big brands at (more) reasonable prices. You could get lost in one of the many New York City locations. The original is conveniently located in the Financial District, while one of the newest outposts is in Brooklyn’s Fulton Mall.
If high-end fashion is the name of your game, you should add 5th Avenue at Central Park South to your must-shop list. Here you’ll find some of the fanciest department stores in the city.
Designed to look like their high-end clients’ apartments (one section of the department store is located in a former Vanderbilt mansion), Bergdorf Goodman takes up two sides of Fifth Avenue. Designers include Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, and Dolce and Gabbana.
Saks Fifth Avenue
Saks is another New York institution. Founded at the turn of the century by Horace Saks and Bernard Gimbel, Saks isn’t simply a store on Fifth Avenue — it’s a destination. Its shoe department is so large that it has its own zip code.
Though not technically located on Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s is still considered part of the Fifth Avenue Shopping District. This location is larger than its SoHo one, and shoppers will find both high-end and mid-range brands here.
Chinatown is another great neighborhood for budget shopping. Instead of spending $30 on a Statue of Liberty knick knack in Times Square, head down to Mulberry St., Mott St. or Canal St. for the same items at a fraction of the cost. The best part about shopping in Chinatown is that you can even haggle here — and you should. Just try to avoid buying the knockoff handbags; it’s illegal for vendors to sell these in New York City.
This branch of the Westfield Mall was destroyed in the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and didn’t reopen again until nearly 15 years afterward. Housed in a structure where survivors and families gather for a special memorial each year in September, this is no ordinary shopping mall. The skylight or “eye” looks to the heavens and floods the building with light. Shoppers will find several floors of fashion and food here, as well as pop-up museum exhibits and concerts on the main floor.