If you are a bona fide shopaholic, then there are plenty of opportunities across the world to indulge your habit, particularly if your first love is fashion. From Tokyo and Hong Kong to the traditional European couture capitals of London, Paris and Milan, there's a wide world of styles out there.
But for many, New York is at the top of the list for retail enthusiasts. As the backdrop to innumerable films and TV shows, New York is instantly recognisable – even to those who have never set foot on the main island of Manhattan.
Barneys, Bergdorf and Bloomingdales The ‘3 Bs’ form the bedrock of swanky New York shopping. Anyone who has enjoyed the fashionista excesses of Carrie Bradshaw and the Sex and the City girls will feel right at home in Barneys, Bergdorf and Bloomingdales – though remember that they also cater for men and children.
Barneys is revered as the headquarters of the über-luxurious shopping experience, and is a temple for fashion-obsessed New Yorkers – it’s very much a shop for the girl who knows her Christian Louboutins from her Manolo Blahniks.
Bergdorf Goodman is another shop for the luxury-obsessed. Located on the expensive Fifth Avenue, the store is said to be a staple of popular culture, with its glamour credentials established in classic old films such as How to Marry a Millionaire and That Touch of Mink. Meanwhile, New York men tend to dress smartly – and one of the best-established brands for sharp suits is Brooks Brothers, which is headquartered on Madison Avenue.
Colossal department store Bloomingdales and smart Saks Fifth Avenue round off the list of upmarket New York fashion meccas.
Jetsetters to trendsetters
Of course, New York isn’t just about ultra-expensive glamour – it also does a good line in less traditional brands. Greenwich Village has traditionally been the place to go if you’re after a good browse and a quirky gift, and manages to pack in cheaper fashions alongside speciality shops for records, books and arty products.
The famous Bleecker Street has seen a shopping explosion in recent times, and there are many edible treats to be discovered here. And if you are up for something a little edgier, you could take a look at the East Village area.
Although sportswear giants wouldn’t normally have a place in a shopper’s guide, the Adidas Originals store near Soho sells so much more than football kits and hoodies, while the sports-fashion conscious tip the nearby Puma store for its retro fashions.
• Sales tax: New York City’s total sales and use tax (at the time of writing) is 8.875%. However, single items of clothing and shoes under $55 are exempt from tax (from April 2011 to March 2012 at least), and items under $110 are exempt from part of it (check the New York State Taxation and Finance website for the most up to date information). With this in mind, it could make sense to plan your spending wisely!
• Cheaper luxury: many items can be cheaper to buy in the US, and this can be especially beneficial if making an expensive purchase. This isn’t true in all cases however, so do your research before you leave.
• If you can’t stretch to the prices charged in upmarket shops, bear in mind that there are places to buy luxury at discounted rates. Century 21, for example, offers designer names at more affordable prices.
In all, New York is the destination of choice for many a discerning shopper, home to some of the biggest and most famous stores and boutiques – including great discount stores for those who like to seek out a bargain. One convenient way to pay for some of your finds could be by credit card – especially if you’ve got a credit card that offers an interest free period on purchases or rewards your spend. However, it’s a good idea to remember that if you don’t pay off your balance in full at the end of the month you could incur interest.
Issued by Sainsbury’s Finance
Sainsbury’s Finance is a trading name of Sainsbury’s Bank plc. All information correct at time of publication, but may be subject to change. Any views or opinions expressed in this article are the responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of any part of the Sainsbury’s Group of companies.
Sainsbury’s Finance is a financial services provider engaged in savings accounts, credit cards, and personal loans. It also supplies insurance services in car insurance, home insurance, life insurance, pet insurance and travel insurance as well as being a provider of travel money services.