Happy Monday! We are well and truly into November and that means Christmas shopping is about to take over our lives. I’m in the middle of drafting up my annual Christmas Gift Guides for shopping online, but as Christmas creeps closer and more and more people are coming over here do their Christmas shopping, I’m getting asked a lot of questions about where to go Christmas shopping in New York. I did share some ‘Shopping in New York’ tips in my Ultimate List of New York Favourites, but I do have a lot more too. As I always, when I get asked a question alot I know it’s something more people are probably interested in too, so today I’m going breakdown where to go shopping when you’re in NYC.
1. Department Stores
In fairness, New York knows how to do department stores and there are some for every budget.
- Macy’s Herald Sq (34th St)
There are lots of Macy’s stores around the US but the one on 34th St is the most famous. It’s largest department store in the world and it has absolutely everything. Be sure to pop into the visitor centre to get a 10% off visitors discount. All you have to do is show a foreign or out of state ID. Word of warning, this place gets very busy.
- Lord & Taylor
On 5th between 38th and 39th St, Lord & Taylor is so underrated in my opinion. It’s pretty much just like Macy’s but not as crowded and they always have amazing sales and discounts.
Bloomingdales and Macy’s are owned by the same company, but I think of Bloomingdale’s as being a slightly higher end sister store. You’ll find it on Lexington Avenue between 58th and 59th St.
- Saks Fifth Avenue
The famous store on 5th Avenue is right across from the Rockefeller Center (between 50th and 51st St), so it’s perfect for seeing the tree. You will want to see Saks too because they have an amazing light display on the front of their building. It’s fab! This store is slightly more higher end compared to Macy’s and Lord & Taylor, so if you really want to treat someone or yourself this year, this could be your store.
- Bergdorf Goodman
On 5th Avenue between 57th and 58th St, this store is for people with a lot $$$$ to spend. Be sure to check out their Christmas windows. They are definitely the best.
On Madison between 60th and 61st, another department store for the super rich. And by super rich I mean not me!
2. Discount Stores
Discount stores are the best, because let’s be honest… Who wants to pay full price for something when you can get it for less? Here are my favourites…
- Century 21
Located downtown right by Ground Zero, it is probably my favourite of all the discount stores in New York because it has everything under one roof and stocks some amazing brands. I have my eye on these boots from French Connection right now. They’re $170 from French Connection, which is a little steep, but C21 also have them too for $99.99. The 1cent makes all the difference because as they are $100 I won’t have to pay tax on them… YAY! But basically, you can get the same things that are in the brands actual stores but for way cheaper.
- TJ Maxx
It’s TK Maxx at home, but TJ Maxx here. I go to the store on 6th Avenue between 18th and 19th St. It can be hit and miss, but you never know what gems you’ll find.
Really similar to TJ Maxx and it’s located in the same building too.
- Saks Off 5th
Saks Fifth Avenue’s discount store equivalent recently opened a store in Manhattan on Lexington Avenue between 57th and 58th St.
For shoes discount shoes. There’s one on Union Sq and one on 34th St between 7th and 8th Avenues.
The outlets are where you go for a major day of discount shopping. There are two main places – Woodbury Commons and Jersey Gardens. I’ve only ever been to Woodbury Commons and I do like it, but I know so many people who always go to Jersey Gardens. To be honest there probably isn’t much difference between them but my advice is to look at the stores each of them have before you decide where to go and look at the weather. Woodbury Commons is outdoor and Jersey Gardens is indoor, so that may play a role in your decision.
You can get a bus from Port Authority to either outlet and they only take about an hour or so.
4. Shopping Areas/High Street Stores
Aside for department stores, discount stores and the outlets, there are also areas of New York that has High St type stores and boutiques. They are kind of sprinkled around the city, but here are some of the best areas…
- Madison Avenue – The ultimate shopaholic destination, but as I’ve said before, you may need to rob a bank first!
- Soho – One of my favourite shopping areas, from Canal St up to Houston St and 6th Ave across to Broadway, you’ll find the best of High St, designer and everything in between.
- 34th Street – Around Macy’s from 5th Avenue to 7th/8th Ave.
- The Shops at Columbus Circle – One of only a few malls in Manhattan.
- Brookefield Place – A super high end mall downtown.
- Westfield – Newly opened in the Oculus at Ground Zero. You have to go just to see the Oculus. It’s incredible. The Oculus is linked to Brookefield Place so you can check that out while you’re there too.
- 5th Avenue – Has a mix of very highend designer stores and high street stores. Walking up 5th Avenue is still one of my favourite things to do. It’s when I really feel like I’m in New York.
- Lexington Avenue – Between
- The Upper East Side – Has some fab boutiques
Something to be aware of is stores like Zara, Topshop, Cos, &Other Stories are more expensive here than in Europe. I know I’m holding a Zara bag in the pic here, but I’d recommend skipping those stores and waiting until you get home. Stick with the stores that are going to offer you the best value or have things you can’t get at home.
If you’re lucky enough to be coming to New York over the next few weeks, be sure to check out my Christmas in New York post too. I run through all the best things to do in the run up to Christmas.