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While shopping malls and online retail have been expanding, some old retailers have a reputation which make them a destination in their own right. This article includes department stores and shopping arcades with a legacy beyond the usual.

These might have a department for food and drinks. See legacy food markets for bazaars, market halls, fishmarkets and other retailers with food as their primary product range.


Department stores became common with the Industrial Revolution and steam power. Many of them are located in a 19th-century neighborhood with a rail station and a grand old hotel.

Department stores are large shops selling a wide variety of goods, arranged in "departments" selling a particular type of good. For example men's and children's clothes may be separate departments. It is traditional to pay for goods in one department before moving to the next, but computerised till systems often allow paying elsewhere. Traditional department stores usually are spread over several floors of a large building, and many have a grand hall at the centre. Department stores usually sell clothing, accessories, perfumes and beauty products and a wide range of other products which may include food, luggage, crockery, homewares, furniture, curtains and garden supplies.

Stand-alone department stores started going out of fashion in the 1970s because of suburbanisation and the rise of the shopping centre, and it is nowadays more common for a department store to be housed within a shopping centre as the anchor tenant. The department store has continued to decline in the 21st century as some people prefer to do their shopping online. Nevertheless, some historic department stores continue to operate in major cities around the world, and are often tourist attractions.

A shopping arcade contains multiple stores, in a manner similar to a modern shopping mall, but with more elaborate architecture.

Window displays[edit]

Selfridges Christmas window display, London

Some department stores put considerable effort into styling displays in external windows facing main streets. This can reach a climax in December when a Christmas window display is put on, in some cases using all the main windows to illustrate a children's story.

Personal shoppers[edit]

Some department stores offer a personal shopper experience. You book an appointment where a member of staff will select a small set of goods (usually clothes) and bring them to a private room for you to choose which to buy. There is often an expectation that you will spend "big" and buy one or more complete outfits, but this can save time if you have a tight schedule.

Brand counters[edit]

In some department stores, you may encounter counters for specific brands, make-up and beauty counters being a prominent example of this model. Check prices however, as you may be a paying a premium for buying on brand.


Map of Legacy retailers


See also: Shopping in Australia
  • 1 Adelaide Arcade, 112/118 Grenfell Street (Adelaide/City and North Adelaide). Beautiful shopping arcade built at the end of the 19th century. While it does not carry any top-end international luxury brands, it houses a fine collection of boutique designers and specialist collectors' shops. Adelaide Arcade (Q4681666) on Wikidata Adelaide Arcade on Wikipedia
  • 2 David Jones, 86/108 Castlereagh St (Sydney). The national flagship of Australian department store chain David Jones, and the last surviving of the historic department stores in downtown Sydney. David Jones Limited (Q5235753) on Wikidata David Jones (retailer) on Wikipedia
  • 3 Myer, 314/336 Bourke St (Melbourne). The national flagship of Australian department store chain Myer, and the last surviving of the historic department stores in downtown Melbourne. Myer (Q1110323) on Wikidata Myer on Wikipedia
  • 4 Queen Victoria Building (the QVB), George St (near Town Hall, Sydney). The building is an attraction in itself. The site of a marketplace since 1810, its current Romanesque facade was completed in 1896 and was extensively restored in the late 1980s as a prestigious shopping centre. 5 floors of shopping. Don't miss the Christmas tree to Christmas, going through all the levels. Fashion, books, cafes, and a range of specialty and gift shops. Queen Victoria Building (Q54518) on Wikidata Queen Victoria Building on Wikipedia



The Hudson's Bay Company was founded in 1670 as a fur-trading company with a huge land concession from the British crown; in 1870 the land was turned over to the Canadian government. Today "The Bay" is mainly a department store chain, with stores in most Canadian cities and a few in the US. Items that recall the fur trade days, like parkas or their brightly-striped blankets, are popular with foreign visitors as distinctly Canadian souvenirs.

Hudson's Bay blanket
  • 6 La Baie Montréal, 585, rue St Catherine Ouest, Montréal, QC (Montréal), +1 514 281 4422. Officially, "La Baie D'Hudson – Montréal Centre-Ville" or in English, The Bay is definitely a downtown grand dame department store, but this 1891 building used to be the flagship of Morgan's department store. Henry Morgan Building (Q37029867) on Wikidata Bay Building (Montreal) on Wikipedia
  • 7 Hudson's Bay Queen Street Toronto, 176 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON (Toronto), +1 416 861 9111. This 1896 building was built as Simpson's department store. One of the three Canadian branches of New York-based luxury department store Saks Fifth Avenue is also hosted in part of the historic building. The Bay Queen Street (Q7715934) on Wikidata Hudson's Bay Queen Street on Wikipedia
  • 8 Hudson's Bay Vancouver Downtown, 674 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC (Vancouver), +1 604 681 6211. Completed in 1913, this is one of the few historic downtown locations of the Hudson's Bay Company still in operation as a department store. Hudson's Bay Vancouver (Q5928473) on Wikidata Bay Building (Vancouver) on Wikipedia
  • 9 Hudson's Bay Rideau, 73 Rideau Street, Ottawa, Ontario (Ottawa), +1 241 7511. The 1918 building began as Friemans department store. The location is superb, a block from Parliament Hill and right on the Byward Market. The third floor has a bridge to the Rideau Centre, a large mall across the street.


  • 10 Churin (秋林公司) (Harbin, Heilongjiang Province). Founded in 1900 as part of a Russian department store chain, Churin is an icon of Harbin. The company’s main branch on Dongdazhi Street is now a cross between a traditional department store and a modern shopping center, that is to say there is a mixture of shops owned by Churin and shops owned by other companies. If you’re interested in Churin’s history, you should head to the staircase in the middle of the building where some old photos are displayed on the walls. If you climb to the top floor, you can also view a small collection of antiques acquired by the company over the years.
  • 11 Shanghai No. 1 Department Store, 830 Nanjing E Rd (Shanghai/Nanjing Road). It was built as the Shanghai branch of the now-defunct Hong Kong department store chain The Sun in 1936. It was the last and largest of Shanghai's "Four Great Companies", large department stores based on the Australian model founded by returning Cantonese migrants from Australia, located close to each other along Nanjing Road. Following the communist victory in the Chinese Civil War, it closed down in 1949 and the building was take over by the state. It reopened with its current name as a state-owned enterprise in 1953. It was extensively renovated from 2017-2019 and converted into a shopping centre in an effort to attract more young shoppers. Shanghai No.1 Department Store (Q1874561) on Wikidata
  • 12 Shanghai YongAn Department Store, 830 Nanjing E Rd (Shanghai/Nanjing Road). It was built as the Shanghai branch of Hong Kong department store chain Wing On in 1918, it was the second of Shanghai's "Four Great Companies". Following the communist victory in the Chinese Civil War, it was nationalised in 1956 and re-named "East is Red Department Store". The original name was restored in 2005 (YongAn being the Mandarin pronunciation of the Chinese characters that make up the Cantonese name "Wing On"), but it remains state owned and thus no longer connected to its former parent company in Hong Kong.
  • 1 Xiangshan Commercial Culture Museum (香山商业文化博物馆) (Zhongshan, Guangdong Province). The third floor of this museum hosts an exhibition on the history of Shanghai’s “Four Great Companies”. The reason this exhibition is here is that the founders of the “Four Great Companies” were all originally from Zhongshan (or Xiangshan, as it used to be called).



  • 18 KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens), Tauentzienstraße 21-24 (Berlin/City West). The largest department store on the European continent at Wittenbergplatz has it all. Be sure to check out the food department at the sixth floor, where you can find anything from a baked chicken to a champagne brand bar. On the weekends, this place can get quite crowded. Kaufhaus des Westens (Q686011) on Wikidata Kaufhaus des Westens on Wikipedia


  • 19 Galleria Vittorio Emanuele (Milan/Centro Storico). The mother of all shopping malls: upscale shops in a splendid 19th century palace of a mall, with a stunning mosaic floor, and wonderful glass roof and cupola. Contains boutiques such as Louis Vuitton and Prada, a McDonald's fast-food restaurant, a silverware store called Bernasconi, and eating places such as the Zucca in Galleria, Biffi or a Gucci cafe (and loads more, notably art galleries, fashion boutiques, bookstores and restaurants). At Christmas time, it becomes an enchanting place, with beautiful lights and glitzy decorations. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (Q51112) on Wikidata Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II on Wikipedia
  • 20 La Rinascente, Piazza Duomo (Milan/Centro Storico). A big department store in Milan, right in the centre of the city near the Cathedral and Galleria, and very close to the chic Montenapoleone shopping zone. Here you can get houseware, design and appliances, male, female and children's fashion, youthful sports clothes, jewellery, accessories, cosmetics, watches, perfumes, glasses, socks, underwear, lingerie, gifts, table decor, a hair stylist, a restaurant, sushi bar, food market, sandwich, drink and chocolate bar, an enoteca (wine bar) and several other things. Good place to do some shopping of all kinds in a very central location and then stop for a drink, snack or meal at the cafe or restaurant.


Inside Mitsukoshi Nihonbashi
  • 21 Isetan, 3-14-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku (Tokyo/Shinjuku). Completed in 1933, this is the flagship store of a nationwide chain that also has branches in other Asian countries. The Shinjuku store is in its own class, boasting the highest sales figures in Japan. It is also known for its basement food hall (depachika). Isetan (Q3155239) on Wikidata Isetan on Wikipedia
  • 22 Mitsukoshi, 1-4-1 Nihombashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku (Tokyo/Chuo). It was founded as a gofukuya (traditional kimono shop) in 1673. It was converted into Japan's first modern department store in 1904, based on the model of the now-defunct Wanamaker department store in Philadelphia. The current building was completed in 1914, and is considered the Grand Old Dame of Tokyo's department stores. True to its roots as a gofukuya, the kimono department remains one of the most famous in all of Japan, but be prepared to pay top dollar and come for multiple fittings if you want to purchase one here. Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Main Store (Q108899516) on Wikidata
  • 23 Takashimaya, 5-1-5 Namba, Chuo-ku (Osaka/Minami). It was founded in Kyoto in 1831 as a second hand clothing shop, it expanded into a modern department store in the early 1930s, and its flagship store in Osaka was opened 1932. It has a second flagship store in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, also in a historic building that was opened a year later in 1933. Takashimaya (Q2058024) on Wikidata Takashimaya on Wikipedia


Palacio de Hierro original flagship store in the Historic center of Mexico City
  • 24 El Palacio de Hierro–Centro, Calle 20 de Noviembre 3, Centro, Mexico City (Historic center of Mexico City). The original downtown flagship of the upscale chain El Palacio de Hierro, which translates as "The Iron Palace". Built in 1891 imitating Paris-style department stores, rebuilt in 1921 in art deco style with stained-glass ceilings.
  • 25 El Palacio de Hierro–Polanco, Avenida Moliere 222, Polanco, Mexico City (Polanco, Mexico City). Palacio de Hierro's Centro store is the historic flagship, but the Polanco store is very much the current flagship of the most upmarket Mexican department store chain. It's not downtown, but it's in the city's most upscale urban neighborhood, Polanco, often called the Beverly Hills of Mexico. At 55,200 m² (594,168 sq ft), it is about half the size of Harrod's or Macy's Herald Square, and as such, the largest department store in Latin America — perhaps the most luxurious as well. The chain promotes this branch as the El Palacio de los Palacios meaning "The Palace of (all) Palaces". The ground floor houses boutiques for global luxury brands, and on its other floors carries apparel both luxury and upper-mid-range brands; shoes, accessories, electronics, and home goods. Several full-service restaurants, a covered open-air [food hall] with branches of some of the city's popular trendy fast-casual eateries. Gourmet foods, wines and liquors for sale. Nearby in Antara Fashion Hall is Casa Palacio, a sister department store of furniture and home furnishings and appliances.


  • 26 De Bijenkorf (Amsterdam). The Grand Old Dame of Amsterdam's department stores, on the historic Dam Square. It has other branches throughout the country, including one in The Hague that is also in a historic building. De Bijenkorf (Q2063937) on Wikidata De Bijenkorf on Wikipedia

New Zealand[edit]

  • 27 Smith & Caughey's, Auckland. Traditional department store, mainly selling upmarket clothes, established in 1880. The main store on Queen Street is in a heritage building, completed in 1929, with a smaller second store in Newmarket. In December there is an animated Christmas window display. Smith & Caughey's (Q7544949) on Wikidata Smith & Caughey's on Wikipedia

Nordic countries[edit]

  • 28 Stockmann (Helsinki, Finland). Northern Europe's largest department store. The flagship of Finland's premier department store chain. When Helsinkians meet "under the clock" (kellon alla), they mean the one rotating under the main entrance to Stockmann. Large selection of souvenirs and Finnish goods, and the Herkku supermarket in the basement offers an amazing range of gourmet food from all over Europe. There are Stockman department stores also in some other cities, and smaller branches in the Helsinki area, at the malls of Itäkeskus, Jumbo, Tapiola and the airport. Stockmann (Q644390) on Wikidata Stockmann, Helsinki centre on Wikipedia
  • 29 NK (Nordiska Kompaniet), Hamngatan 18-20 (Stockholm, Sweden). A large, upmarket department store opened in 1915, dominated by classic fashion. Has a big book department. Well known for its elaborate Christmas display window decorations, usually revealed in late November. Nordiska Kompaniet (Q1998385) on Wikidata Nordiska Kompaniet on Wikipedia
  • 30 Magasin du Nord, Kongens Nytorv 13 (Copenhagen/Indre By). Housed in a former grand hotel on Kongens Nytorv, marking the entrance to Strøget, and with over a 100 years of history on its back, Magasin du Nord is the grand old dame of shopping in Copenhagen. Although not as exclusive as it used to be, it is still the premier department store in the city.
  • 31 Illum, Østergade 52 (Copenhagen/Indre By). Illum is an 8-storey department store, smack in the middle of Strøget, founded in 1891 and it has competed with Magasin ever since. Unlike Magasin, it is mostly made up of small independent stores.
  • 32 Steen & Strøm (Oslo, Norway). One of Oslo's oldest department stores and is newly renovated and very stylish with a number of clothing shops with famous brands, a cosmetique, and an interior design floor. On top you will find an outdoor cafe with view over the city centre and the surroundings. Steen & Strøm Magasin (Q7605855) on Wikidata Steen & Strøm Magasin on Wikipedia


  • 33 Moscow GUM Department Store (ГУМ, Главный универсальный магазин; Glavnyi Universalnyi Magazin; literally "main universal store"), Red Square (Moscow/Central). In 1819 Catherine II of Russia commissioned Giacomo Quarenghi, a Neoclassical architect from Italy, to design a huge trade centre along the east side of Red Square. The existing structure was built to replace the previous trading rows that had been designed by Joseph Bove after the 1812 Fire of Moscow. Contained more than 1200 shops – once filled with Soviet-era goods of mediocre quality, it is now a mall with international labels and hyper-expensive boutiques. Even if you don't buy anything, it's highly recommended you go inside and look at the architecture. With the façade extending for 242 m along the eastern side of Red Square, the Upper Trading Rows were built between 1890s. The trapezoidal building features an interesting combination of elements of Russian medieval architecture and a steel framework and glass roof, a similar style to the great 19th-century railway stations of London. - The glass-​roofed design made the building unique at the time of construction. The roof, the diameter of which is 14 m, looks light, but it is a firm construction made of more than 50,000 metal pods 743 t, capable of supporting snowfall accumulation. Illumination is provided by huge arched skylights of iron and glass, each weighing some 740 t and containing in excess of 20,000 panes of glass. The facade is divided into several horizontal tiers, lined with red Finnish granite, Tarusa marble, and limestone. Each arcade is on three levels, linked by walkways of reinforced concrete.
  • 34 Moscow TSUM (Tsentralnyi Universalnyi Magazin, or Central Department Store, ЦУМ – Центральный Универсальный Магазин), Ul.Petrovka (ул. Петровка),2 (Moscow/Central-North). Built in 1857 by "Muir & Mirrielees" - a trading company founded by Scottish entrepreneurs. The building was itself a landmark - designed by the famous architect Roman Klein, it was the first store in Moscow with elevators. Today, the store sells more than 400 world brands of anything from apparel to perfume.


  • 35 Hayashi Department Store, No. 63, Section 2, Zhongyi Rd, West Central District (Tainan). Taiwan's oldest department store, built by the Japanese during colonial rule. It had the first ever elevator in Taiwan, and a Shinto shrine on its rooftop. It closed down after the defeat of Japan in World War II, as the owner returned to Japan. The building was taken over by the Chinese Nationalist government, and briefly used for various governmental functions before being abandoned. The building was restored to its former glory and reopened as a department store once again in 2014. It is rather small and does not carry any luxury international brands, but instead sells boutique local Taiwanese products. Hayashi Department Store (Q3846861) on Wikidata Hayashi Department Store on Wikipedia

United Kingdom[edit]

Harrods at night
  • 36 Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly (London). Established in 1707, with three smaller stores in London including St Pancras station and Heathrow airport. Although this is a department store selling stationery, jewellery and fragrances, its main attraction is the large selection of luxury food. It was famous in the days when the British Empire spanned the world, doing a large mail order business with Britons posted in distant lands. Fortnum & Mason (Q498563) on Wikidata Fortnum & Mason on Wikipedia
  • 37 Harrods, 87–135 Brompton Rd (London/South Kensington-Chelsea). The most famous store in London, favoured by the British establishment and Arab royalty, and owned by the State of Qatar. Fairly strict dress code so do not turn up looking like a backpacker and expect to gain entrance. Harrods (Q332474) on Wikidata Harrods on Wikipedia
  • 38 Harvey Nichols, 109 – 125 Knightsbridge (London). Luxury department store, popular for designer fashion and the in-store restaurant and bar. Also has department stores in Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Manchester. The Knightsbridge store was built in the 1890s and used the same architect as Harrods. Harvey Nichols (Q3088141) on Wikidata Harvey Nichols on Wikipedia
  • 39 Liberty, Regent Street (London). Luxury department store, best known for its colourful range of fabrics. The store sells clothing, jewellery and homeware. Liberty (Q3237793) on Wikidata Liberty (department store) on Wikipedia
  • 40 Selfridges, 400 Oxford St (London/Mayfair-Marylebone). The second most famous department store in the UK after Harrods, built in a beautiful Beaux-Arts architectural style, and completed in 1909. While Harrods has a posher feel and primarily caters to the filthy rich, Selfridges aims to serve a more diverse clientele and thus carries a wider range of products, ranging from luxury to mid-range. They also have a Birmingham store in an aluminum disc covered futuristic building opened in 2003. Selfridges (Q7448348) on Wikidata Selfridges, Oxford Street on Wikipedia

United States[edit]

See also: Shopping in the United States
Macy's flagship store in New York City
  • 41 Bergdorf Goodman, 768 Madison Ave (New York City). Bergdorf Goodman (Q793430) on Wikidata Bergdorf Goodman on Wikipedia
  • 42 Bloomingdale's, 1000 3rd Ave (New York City). Bloomingdale's is one of the relatively few 19th-century department stores still in business in New York City. Their flagship store at the extreme southern end of the Upper East Side was opened in 1886. Bloomingdale's (Q283383) on Wikidata Bloomingdale's on Wikipedia
  • 43 Neiman Marcus, 1618 Main St (Dallas). The flagship store of national luxury department store chain Neiman Marcus, and the last of the historic downtown department stores outside New York City still bearing its original name. Neiman Marcus (Q743497) on Wikidata Neiman Marcus on Wikipedia
  • 44 Macy's Herald Square, 151 W 34th St (Manhattan/Theater District, New York City). Billing itself as "The World's Largest Store" on the large signs outside, this is the flagship store of the national chain and covers an entire city block. Its holiday window displays are so popular that they usually have a corporate sponsor. This is New York City's most famous department store, and its upper floors still have wooden escalators as homage to the past. Macy's has also converted historic downtown department stores in other American cities into branches of Macy's, the most famous of which are the former Marshall Field's in Chicago and the former Wanamaker's in Philadelphia. Macy's Herald Square (Q6725862) on Wikidata Macy's Herald Square on Wikipedia
  • 45 Macy's Center City Philadelphia (Wanamaker's), 1300 Market Street (Philadelphia). Located in the historic Wanamaker building, this is one of the most architecturally significant retail spaces in the U.S. and a designated National Historical Landmark. Founded in 1866, it was the first department store to guarantee a refund policy and to be illuminated by electricity. Two features make it different than any other downtown flagship:
    • With nearly 28,500 pipes, the Grand Court Organ is the world’s largest playable instrument. Wanamaker purchased it in 1909 and it was installed in the Grand Court of the Wanamaker building several years later. A National Historic Landmark since 1980, the organ's manuals and pipes give it the capabilities of three symphony orchestras. Concerts are performed twice a day, Monday-Saturday.
    • Handmade in Frankfurt, Germany, the bronze Wanamaker Eagle weighs 2,500 pounds and sits on a granite base in the Grand Court. There are 1,600 sculpted feathers on the head alone, and 5,000 on the entire Eagle. This famous bird began the long-beloved Philadelphia tradition of a Center City rendezvous initiated by saying “Meet me at the Eagle.” Wanamaker's (Q3503499) on Wikidata Wanamaker's on Wikipedia
  • 46 Macy's State Street Chicago (Marshall Field's), 111 N. State Street (Chicago), +13127811000. The neo-Renaissance-style building, which opened in 1893 and first served as the home of Marshall Field's, acquired by Macy's and renamed in 2006, and designated as the Midwest flagship. The store’s grand edifice, which evolved over a 22-year-period (1892-1914), contains several atria and was designated a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in June of 1978. Architectural features of the Marshall Field & Company State Street building that visitors won’t want to miss include:
    • The Tiffany Ceiling: shimmering and vaulted, 6,000 square feet (557 m2), 1.6 million pieces of iridescent glass. The 5th floor provides an up-close view and it’s simply jaw-dropping. Designed by renowned glass artist Louis Comfort Tiffany himself, it’s the largest Tiffany mosaic in existence.
    • The Great Clocks at the outside corners of the store, each made of 7¾ tons of cast bronze
    • Burnham Fountain, also known as the “Lost Fountain”, made of 6 tons of cast iron and holds 700 gallons of water. In the original building plans but never built; however, during the building’s restoration, the original plans for the fountain were found and the Burnham Fountain was finally built for a new atrium added in 1992.
    • Walnut Room restaurant with its stunning Circassian Walnut paneling (installed over 100 years ago) and Austrian chandeliers. This was the very first restaurant in a department store and it is also the longest continuously-operating restaurant in the nation. Each year, a 45-foot-tall tree, known as the Great Tree, adorns the restaurant from late November to early January and sets the space aglow with 15,000 lights and 1,200 themed ornaments. Marshall Field's (Q3849896) on Wikidata Marshall Fields on Wikipedia
  • 47 Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 5th Ave (New York City). Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store (Q105593077) on Wikidata Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store on Wikipedia

See also[edit]

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