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Chicago Shopping

Chicago Shopping

Chicago's shopping experience is overwhelming. From small boutiques to the Magnificent Mile, you can find anything you're looking for. State Street boasts original storefronts from the early 1900s, particularly the stately Marshall Field's Building (111 N. State St.), built in 1901, which is now the home of Macy’s. The Merchandise Mart (222 Merchandise Mart Pl) is the world's largest wholesale buying center and each Chicago neighborhood has its own community of businesses and retail stops.

State Street Shopping
State Street is one of the city’s main shopping destinations, conveniently located in the downtown Loop next to public transportation and major Chicago attractions. State Street used to be Chicago’s prime retail district, but when the Magnificent Mile became so “magnificent,” the shopping traffic subsided. After some revitalization and the addition of a number of new stores, the corridor has bounced back and is now a less congested outpost of the Michigan Avenue shops with a large cluster of discount department retailers.

Marshall Field’s department store has been a State Street anchor since the turn of the 20th century. In 2006 the historic building was taken over by Macy’s, however it is referred to by many Chicago loyalists as Field’s and it still retains its exterior Marshall Field’s nameplate. Other retail shops on State Street are Sears, Old Navy, Filene’s Basement, Nordstrom Rack, H&M, Akira Shoes and T.J. Maxx.

Chicago Malls
Want the big city shopping but enjoy the convenience of an all-in-one mall? Chicago is well-equipped with what can best be described as “vertical malls.” These multistory retail meccas are scattered along the Magnificent Mile, offering shoppers a wide variety of merchandise under one roof. Probably the most well-know of the lot is the Water Tower Place, located at 835 North Michigan Avenue. Water Tower has nine levels of retail that stock everything from designer clothes and accessories to state-of-the-art gadgets and electronics. A favorite stop for fashionistas is The 900 Shops where Bloomingdales reigns supreme. In addition to Bloomies, the six-story mall houses upscale retailers like Gucci, Coach, Benetton, Williams-Sonoma, Montblanc, MaxMara, and Diesel, among others. Chicago Place is another high-rise shopping center on North Michigan Avenue. The larger apparel specialists at Chicago Place are Saks Fifth Avenue and Talbots. The entire directory of shops provides a good assortment of items from accessories and jewelry to art and home furnishings.

Magnificent Mile
Chicago’s number one shopping hotspot is the Magnificent Mile. This strip of mega-stores and flagship retail outlets is a flurry of activity year round with tourist traffic and hometown customers alike. Of course the holiday season kicks it up a notch with extended store hours to accommodate the onslaught of present-purchasers. But truthfully, anytime you go you should be prepared for the throng of consumers this popular commercial district attracts. Chicago “vertical malls” are located on the Magnificent Mile as are a number of huge, multilevel showrooms for some of the world’s top retailers, such as Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Nike, Burberry, Gap, Guess?, Disney and many more. There are over 450 stores on the Mag Mile in total and countless restaurants and eateries to refuel between shops.

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