Chicago is a great city for shopping. The main reasons are that there is a large variety of places where to shop (department stores, boutiques, shopping centers and shopping areas) but also that the diversity of stores is endless (clothes, shoes and bags, jewelry, books, furniture, home décor, cosmetics, and more). Everything is done to make the shopper’s life easier. It can be expensive, but it mainly depends where you go to shop.
The Magnificient Mile on Michigan Avenue is the most expensive area in Chicago. There you will find exclusive stores such as Chanel, Max Mara, Blueberry and much more. This is where luxury stores of all kinds are located. This is also where the best departments stores such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, The 900 shops, Saks Fifth Avenue, and The Water Tower Place are nestled.
Obviously, there are a lot of others places in Chicago that are less expensive. Indeed small to medium shopping areas are scattered all around the city (Elston Avenue and Fullerton Avenue, for example). There you will find always the same stores and restaurants where prices are medium range. Nevertheless, it has to be said that Chicago is rather more expensive than the national level.
Chicago is characterized by its numerous communities and neighborhoods. Some of them are famous for being specialized in Asian food (Chinatown in the Southwest of Chicago), Scandinavian stores (Andersonville), or Italian specialties (Little Italy) (cf. the food section). Therefore it will be easy for expat people and expat families to find a taste of home in Chicago.
Most of the stores in Chicago are opened every day of the week, including Sundays which makes it easier when you work. The traditional opening hours are from 10:00 am to 7:00 or 8:00 pm. On Sundays, stores open at 11:00 am. Moreover, most of the department stores have web sites and supply delivery and shipping.
Another added convenience for shoppers is that most of the big stores or department stores have parking lots. Other stores or boutiques offer free parking if you purchase in their shops. There are a lot of indoor parking lots downtown. They are opened 24/7 and most of them have security guards on 24-hour duty.