Shopping in Philadelphia
Philly benefits from Pennsylvania's tax free status on clothes and shoes, and its rich pedigree of renowned retailers is the stuff of legend; John Wanamaker, Ralph Rucci, the Jones Apparel Group and popular designer Tory Burch all have Philadelphia roots. With over 2,000 stores, Philly takes retail very seriously; so much so you'll find boutiques, speciality-items, well-known brand stores and department stores.
For a touch of luxury, head to The Shops at Bellevue, 200 South Broad Street at Walnut Street. The Shops at Liberty Place, 17th and Chestnut Streets, is a good choice, with gourmet foods and restaurants as well as shops. South Street is perhaps the hippiest street in Philly, particularly the stretch between Front Street and Tenth Street, offering over 300 shops and 60 eateries.
Rittenhouse Row is the city's upmarket shopping and dining district. Stretching from the Avenue of the Arts (Broad Street) to 21st Street, between Spruce and Market streets, Rittenhouse Row offers anything from designer clothes to a variety of art galleries. There's Urban Outfitters, Club Monaco, Intermix, Anthropologie, Barneys to name but a few. Jeweler's Row, on Sansom Street, and Antique Row, on Pine Street, run for several blocks in the Washington Square district. Fabric Row, on Fourth Street, between Bainbridge Street and Catherine Street, offers fabulous textile stores.
The Italian Market, South Ninth Street, offers a range of foodstuffs every Tuesday to Saturday between 0900 and 1700, and Sunday between 0900 and 1500. It is the oldest and largest working outdoor market in the United States and has changed little in over 100 years.
Head House Square offers an outdoor craft market during the summer months. Phila Flea Markets operate a number of flea markets throughout the city from May through to October.
Center City has hundreds of clothing and jewellery stores. The most iconic is the John Wanamaker building, on 13th Street and Market Street, now occupied by Macy's. It was designed to resemble Paris' Les Halles, and the enormous Grand Court is crowned by a 30,000-pipe organ, on which concerts are given daily. The Gallery at Market East has 170 stores across four levels. Shoppers come from all over the East Coast to the enormous King of Prussia Mall, 24km (15 miles) west of the city, on North Gulph Road. The shopping complex encompasses The Plaza and The Court, with eight major department stores and 365 speciality stores, including designer brands such as Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Tiffany. Franklin Mills, 24km (15 miles) from Center City, at 1455 Franklin Mills Circle, is a huge factory outlet mall with more than 200 stores selling name brands at 20-70% discounts.
Major department stores are open Monday to Saturday 1000-1900 and Sunday 1000-1700. Most of the downtown shops close at 1800 or 1900, although those in the large malls may stay open later. Many shops and department stores also stay open until 2000 on Wednesday. The big malls outside the city centre are open Monday to Saturday 1000-2130 and Sunday 1100-1800.
The Independence Visitor Center Gift Shop on 6th and Market Streets stock Philly branded souvenirs. Along South Street you'll find all kinds of souvenir shopping from t-shirts and mugs to delicious chocolates.
There are no tax refund schemes currently available to visitors to Philadelphia.