Macy’s is so synonymous with New York that it has its own Thanksgiving parade, watched by millions. It’s the largest department store in the United States – so prepare for a lot of ups and downs on the escalators on your shopping adventure (and look out for the old wooden – yes wooden – escalators that lead to the upper floors). Spend time admiring the window displays and hit up the departments for Michael by Michael Kors and Adidas. A note of warning: stay away during Black Friday unless you shop on a competitive level.
It used to sell pearls to flapper girls in the 1920s, and it even housed its own indoor ski slope in the 1930s: Saks Fifth Avenue is a bit of a New York institution. Its multitude of windows present a glamorous multi-faceted face to the world, and inside you’ll find Moncler jackets, Stuart Weitzman shoes and the Swedish-style café FIKA. The ground floor beauty department can get pretty hairy, especially during the Christmas rush, but calm is restored on the upper floors.
Barney’s New York is a department store with some serious swagger.
Ingrained in New York’s pop culture, thanks to multiple mentions in everything from Sex and the City to Seinfeld, Barney’s New York is a department store with some serious swagger. There are two New York locations: Downtown and Madison Avenue. Head here for everything designer, from Gucci to Vetements – then slide into a velvet booth at Fred’s, the fancy Italian-American restaurant on the 9th floor.
Ever seen a ‘medium brown bag’? The brown paper bags which Bloomingdale’s gives to its shoppers are the must-have accessory if you’re walking on the Upper East Side. Brown paper bags are more readily associated with chemists than couture – but the Bloomingdale's version is now so covetable you can even buy a more durable vinyl model. The department store has been clothing fashion-savvy New Yorkers since 1927. Head straight to floors two to four for women’s clothing.
The Bergdorf Goodman department store has graced the good streets of New York since 1901. The menswear and womenswear departments sit across the street from each other in midtown, at the crossroads of 5th Avenue and 58th Street (Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co. are opposite). Inside the ladies' shop there’s nine floors of womenswear, including a couture collection and a salon. Meanwhile, gents can peruse three floors of menswear, including Goodman’s made-to-measure suits.
Two blocks from Central Park and near Columbus Circle, Nordstrom has big plans to take Manhattan – having opened a menswear flagship here in spring 2018. Expect three floors of everything from grooming to dresswear, and a cool shoe department featuring a modern shoeshine station and heaps of Gucci. There are in-store events and mini ‘shops’ by the hippest brands – from Comme des Garçons to Vans. A womenswear flagship store, six times the size, arrives at the end of 2019 on the opposite side of the street.