In Chicago, there are countless choices when it comes to shopping. Where to shop depends on personal preference and the areas in Chicago can basically be divided into four categories:
- The Magnificient Mile on Michigan Avenue is a category in itself and is The Mecca for the shopping addict. This avenue is home to the most prestigious brand stores in the world.
- Some streets in residential neighborhoods.
- Department stores and malls located downtown.
- Mall and shopping center located in the suburbs.
The Magnificient Mile
The Magnificient Mile is located on Michigan Avenue and runs from the Chicago River to the crossing with Oak Street. It is a main tourist and shopping area filled with department stores and boutiques. There are more than 460 retail stores carrying everything imaginable including souvenirs, jewelry stores, men’s and women’s apparel, shoes, antiques and art. Chanel, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Max Mara, Hugo Boss, Georgio Armani, Escada, and Ralph Lauren are some of the famous international brands that are represented. The price level is obviously very high.
State Street in the Loop is also a very commercial street with a lot of shops, department stores, restaurants and cafes.
Streets in Residential Neighborhoods
Clark Street is a very long street that goes through several neighborhoods. You will find small to medium sized boutiques, some department stores and chain stores (Best Buy, Borders, Nine West, Sport Authority, and Marshall, for example). Overall, the price level is less expensive than Michigan Mile, but some boutiques that sell exclusive items will carry high price tags.
North Halsted, particularly the portion going from Diversey to North Avenue, is lined with small boutiques filled with women’s apparel (such as Club Monaco), children’s apparel, children’s shoes (Piggy Toes), and shoes (Nine West). There are also plenty of restaurants in which to relax. The level price goes from medium to very high.
Armitage Avenue starts in Lincoln Park and is filled with little boutiques and shops. There for instance, you will find the chain store Lululemon (active wear, expensive), Arden B. (women’s apparel, mid range) and Rugby from Ralph Lauren (women’s and men’s apparel, expensive). The level price goes from medium to very high.
At the crossing of Halsted and North Avenue is a concentration of supermarkets and huge specialized stores such as Whole food, World Market, Borders, Crate & Barel, the Container Store, Blick, among others. There is also a large gathering of chain clothing stores including Gap, J. Crew, and Banana Republic and the like. The level price goes from medium to very high.
Department Stores and Malls Located Downtown
- Macy’s on State Street
- Carson, Pirie and Scott on State Street
- Sears on State Street
- Water Tower Place on Michigan Avenue
- Nordstrom on Michigan Avenue
- Bloomingdale’s on Michigan Avenue
- The 900 shops on Michigan Avenue
- Saks Fifth Avenue on Michigan Avenue
For a full description of these department stores, see the “Department Stores and Shopping Centers” section.
Shopping Center of interest located in the Suburbs:
The Woodfield Mall Shopping Center located in Schaumburg is the largest mall in the Chicago area. See the next section for the contact details and a short description.