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The World's Greatest Department Stores

Published in News - November 24, 2016

There’s arguably nothing better to get you in the festive mood than doing a little bit of Christmas shopping, so why not do it in style? This week we’ve rounded up some of our all time favourite department stores from around the globe. From the world famous Harrods store in London to Barneys in New York City - we have some great recommendations to combine two of our great passions, travel and shopping. 

1. Galeries Lafayette, Paris.

Although now located in several countries across the world, the flagship (and our favourite) store is located on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. Opened in 1912, the interior of this department store is absolutely breathtaking – escpecially at Christmas. With all the luxury designers you could possibly dream of, this is a must see on your next trip to Paris.



2. Le Bon Marche, Paris

Located on the left bank of the Seine, Le Bon Marche is considered to be the world’s first modern department store and was opened in 1852. Less crowded than its counterparts, Le Bon Marche is popular with locals and celebrities. The store has been an innovator in many areas, for example being one of the first stores to introduce reading rooms for husbands. As well as being home to all the major luxury brands, Le Bon Marche houses an impressive art collection – as well as a 3,000 m2 food market.



3. Selfridges, London

Voted to be the world’s best department store three years in a row, Selfridges on Oxford Street, London has everything you could possibly need. Founded in 1909 by Harry Gordon Selfridge, the store prides itself on the idea that ‘everybody is welcome’. The store is even more magical during Christmas time, with it’s world famous shop windows, lights and festive shop. If you’re looking for one place to get everything, Selfridges is the place to visit.



4. Bergdorf Goodman, New York City

If you’ve ever watched ‘Sex and the City’ then you know why Bergdorf Goodman made the list. This department store is the place where fashionistas, celebrities and the New York elite come to shop – so it certainly is special. As well as fashion, this department store has restaurants, home accessories, and a bookstore. If you need some extra help to find that special gift, the store has an army of personal shoppers on hand to help you find everything you need.



5. Harrods, London

The largest department store in Europe, at over 90,000 square meters Harrods is bound to have everything you need for your loved ones this Christmas. Harrods is an extravagant shrine to fashion, homeware, food and well, pretty much everything you can think of. Until 2014, the department store had an animal department, where in the past exotic animals were purchased; like the baby elephant purchased by Ronald Reagan. At the centre of the 7 story store is a $39 million Egyptian themed escalator. And if you think that’s extravagant, the store once employed a real life cobra snake to guard a pair of £62,000 ruby and diamond shoes.  



6. Kaufhaus des Westens, Berlin

With 60,000 square meters of retail space, it’s easy to get lost in this giant department store. First opened in 1907, the store was significantly damaged during WWII, but was restored in 1950. One of the main attractions is the food hall – which is one of the biggest in the world selling around 35,000 products. If all the shopping makes you hungry then the 30 gourmet bars staffed by 150 chefs are on hand to help.



7. Barneys, New York City

Perhaps the newest store in the list, the new Barneys store opened just this year. The 5,388 square meter new premises were designed by Steven Harris and boasts an impressive interior. The five floors are connected by a beautiful spiral staircase inspired by the original store on 7th Avenue. If you’re looking for something more modern, then you should definitely make a trip.



8. Liberty, London

It’s fair to say that the exterior of Liberty is one of the most beautiful on the list. The Tudor inspired design makes it stand out on Great Marlborough Street, where it is located. The store sells a vast amount of luxury goods, and is most famous for its unique fabrics and homeware. If you’re in London, then alongside Harrods and Selfridges, it is a must see.



9. Mitsukoshi Nihonbashi Main Store, Tokyo

Known as Japan’s oldest surviving department store chain dating back to 1673, the main store is a vast retail space. If you need assistance in English, then the 2nd floor Foreign Customer Service Counter has you covered.



10. Shinsegae, South Korea

Registered as the world’s largest department store in the Guinness World Records at 3,163,567 sqaure feet, this colossal department store took the title from Macy’s in New York in 2009. The complex has over 60 designer stores from Louis Vuitton to Chanel, as well as 10 restaurants, ice rink, spa, indoor golf space, cinema and rooftop garden.





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