Shopping is big business: cities around the world have been made famous by their shopping hubs, which attract locals and tourists alike. While some of these areas are known for their luxury retail offerings, shoppers flock to others to source the best bargains in town.
Against this backdrop, the global retail scene is becoming increasingly competitive, with e-commerce poised to capture a seemingly ever-larger share of the pie and emerging markets attracting a new crowd of shoppers looking for the newest, freshest experience.
Yet despite the competition, the age-old favourites continue to attract hordes of visitors each year. To mark the release of Cushman & Wakefield’s Main Streets Across the World 2017 report, we take a look at some of the most-loved shopping districts around the world.
1. New York
Whether it’s high-end designer goods or thrift shops and vintage stores you’re looking for, New York delivers. While Fifth Avenue and Soho in Lower Manhattan are firm favorites (Upper Fifth Avenue was ranked the most expensive retail street in terms of prime rental value by Cushman & Wakefield’s Main Streets Across the World 2017 report), well-known shopping districts like Brooklyn and Flushing, Queens score highly among shoppers searching for one-off pieces not available on the high street.
Like New York, Tokyo offers a ridiculously diverse range of shopping options, helping it to rank at second in Travel and Leisure’s guide to the best cities for shopping. Notable shopping districts in Tokyo include Ginza, Harajuku and Shinjuku. Ginza is home to high-end department stores while Harajuku is a popular place for trendy teens. For those with limited time, Shinjuku is considered a one-stop shopping destination in Tokyo.
The world-famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées is the center of shopping in Paris. The avenue is home to several high streets housing luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Guerlain as well as high-end cafés and restaurants like Ledoyen and L’Atelier Renault. Boulevard Haussmann, another popular shopping district in Paris, houses well-known department stores Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, where shoppers can find luxury clothing brands, furniture and home décor.
4. Hong Kong
A shopping haven among the shopping havens of Asia, Hong Kong is well-known for top malls like Harbour City, Landmark, IFC Mall and Hysan Place, which offer a lot of variety for shoppers. For those with expensive taste, the Queen’s Road Central is home to luxury and mid-tier brands. The Square Street, Stanley Market and Ladies Market, on the other hand, offer affordable goods to locals and tourists alike.
While the trendy and expensive malls lining Singapore’s Orchard Road make the strip the city’s primary shopping drawcard, the city-state also boasts a huge number of malls in other locations. From the accessible VivoCity at Bukit Merah to the up-market The Shoppes within the Marina Bay Sands resort, these malls offer a plethora of shopping alternatives for Singapore’s mall-worshipping population. Indie shops located in the suburbs are also cropping up in response to the increasing rents in malls; bargains can be found at street markets in Little India, Arab Street and Bugis.
For European style, it’s hard to go past Italian shopping in general. The country is home to several world-renowned shopping districts including Milan, which is known as the fashion capital of Italy, and is often considered the most famous of its shopping drawcards. On Via Monte Napoleone, one of its most upscale streets, high-end boutiques of well-known fashion designers are found while the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is the city’s oldest shopping mall, housing luxury brands like Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton.
Another global shopping must-see, London’s retail therapy offerings stretch from neighborhood pound stores to the designer boutiques of Bond Street and surrounds, where upscale shops catering to the royal family can be found. Away from the city’s Monopoly-famous Oxford Street, where franchise devotees can visit flagships stores for just about every global brand, markets abound and hidden gems can be found in the hugely diverse high street offerings in areas from Notting Hill to Islington.
Bangkok is known for colorful street markets such as the popular Chatuchak Market, where shoppers can find a dizzying array of items from Thai silk to antiques and accessories at affordable prices. But an increasing number of shopping malls in the city now offer shoppers a more homogenous, upmarket shopping experience, with shopping center Asiatique – a combination of a mall and night bazaar – a perfect example of how the city manages to merge the two extremes beautifully.
Understand more about the real estate housing these shopping experiences. Download Main Streets Across the World 2017.