London preview

United Kingdom

London is often considered, especially by the British, the center of the universe in terms of shopping. Boutiques range in style from school-girl prep to swanky club attire, business casual to deal-closing power suits and from funky punk-rock to classic elegance fit for the Queen. And, although London is one of the most expensive cities in the world, it can also be the place to find shopping bargains. These evasive bargains can be found almost anywhere, but particularly in some of the outdoor markets mentioned later in Expat Info Desk's guide to London. A sure time to buy for less is during the January sales, one of London's biggest obsessions. This impatiently awaited annual event finds almost every shop in London with prices that are sometimes knocked down as much as 70% after the Christmas holidays.

Most department stores have recently teamed up with fashion designers to bring run-way fashion to high street. Every neighbourhood has a 'high street' so you don't always have to go to Oxford Circus or another busy area to get your basic t-shirts, socks, trousers, trainers or towels or even most of your more upscale outfittings either. High streets also will have your major banks, mobile phone service companies and fast food and coffee chains.

General working hours are 10am - 7pm Mon-Wed and Sat, 10am - 9pm or 10pm Thurs and Noon - 5pm Sun. Thursday is a big shopping day in London and shops are open late.