The world’s most expensive stores
When was the last time (pre-pandemic) you treated yourself to a shopping spree? More to the point, when was the last time you could afford to treat yourself to a shopping spree? As a casino jackpot winner, that’s one of the luxurious joys you’ll have to look forward to – an all-out shopping trip in the world’s most extravagant department stores, filled with every kind of indulgence and staffed with employees just waiting to make your every retail dream come true. You’ve seen the stores on TV and in movies – now it’s your chance to experience them for yourself. All you’ll need is a casino jackpot first, and the world and its department stores will be your oyster! Where will you start first…
1. Barneys New York, New York City
Of course you need to start at Barneys – it’s not just a store, it’s a shopping institution! Famous the world over for its dedication to quality and luxury, and its restaurant Freds (named for Fred Pressman, son of founder Barney Pressman), Barneys has become a synonym for luxury shopping ever since opening its doors back in 1923. First established as a suit store, today Barneys is a worldwide phenomenon, with no less than 24 stores across the United States, and 12 in Japan as well. If you want designer brands and first-class service, you go to Barneys New York, no questions asked.
2. Isetan, Tokyo
From New York to Japan, where you won’t just find Barneys, you’ll find Isetan too, home to 30 million shoppers in search of the ultimate in luxury living. Whether you’re after designer looks from the East or West, the best of young Japanese designers, eclectic accessories, pop-up stores, amazing collabs, and even mouth-watering chocolate or pastries from the basement food hall, you’ll find it at Isetan. Famous for its cutting-edge looks and on-trend style, Isetan is the store to see and be seen – and emerge with a whole new fashion identity too. Luxury head-to-toe makeovers? Don’t mind if we do!
3. Bergdorf Goodman, New York
Back to New York City again, this time to Bergdorf Goodman, another of the Big Apple’s most iconic department stores. Founded in 1899 as a humble tailor’s shop, today Bergdorf Goodman spans eight fantastic floors on Fifth Avenue, and features everything from ultra-chic luxury brands to contemporary fashion, as well as bars, a restaurant, a café and a salon as well. Is there any need to shop anywhere else, ever again? According to the documentary, ‘Scatter My Ashes in Bergdorf’, that’s a ‘No’!
4. El Corte Ingles, Lisbon, Madrid and Barcelona
Let’s leave North America for a while and depart for the shores of Europe – more specifically Lisbon, Madrid and Barcelona, and El Corte Inglés, or ‘The English Cut’, a reference to a tailor’s cut. Holding the title as the biggest department store chain in Europe, El Corte Inglés has its main store in Madrid and its largest store in Lisbon, and it’s here where it really comes into its own, with nine floors of retail therapy heaven for shoppers to enjoy, as well as restaurants, designer boutiques, and a cinema too. Just leave us inside and come fetch us the next day – we’ll be perfectly happy to shop till we drop!
5. Galeries LaFayette, Paris
Staying in Europe, this time in the French capital of Paris, Galeries LaFayette is a department store that has to be seen to be believed, as much for its exterior as its interior. Pay this shopping utopia a visit and you’ll be transfixed by its construction before you even set a foot inside – Belle Époque architecture and a neo-Byzantine glass dome, housing glorious Art Nouveau interiors complete with a staircase too. Small wonder then that Galeries LaFayette has a reputation as one of the world’s most stunning department stores!
Of course, it doesn’t just trade on its looks – it has plenty to offer eager shoppers as well, from designer fashion and weekly fashion shows to jewellery, accessories, home décor, and style consultations and beauty treatments too. Having opened its doors in 1895, today Galeries LaFayette boasts 280 locations around the world, but its flagship store will always be its original Paris location. Pay it a visit today and find out what makes this store such a landmark – and such a retail haven as well!
6. Harrods, London
We can’t have a list of luxurious department stores and not include Harrods! Ever since its modest beginnings as a grocery store in the early 1830s, Harrods has stood as a beacon of quality and service, and today with more than a million square feet of selling space and over 330 departments, it’s still living up to that reputation.
No matter what you’re in search of, one of Harrods’ 5,000 employees will help you find it – and if you’re feeling peckish, you’ve come to the right place. Famed for its gourmet food hall boasting delectable seafood and meats, mouth-watering cream teas, chocolates and desserts, it’ll satisfy your every appetite, and have you coming back for seconds. With a motto stating ‘Omnia Omnibus Ubique’, or ‘All Things for All People’, Harrods truly is the store to come to when looking for your heart’s desire – because with so many departments to choose from, you’ll find exactly what you’re after, and a whole lot more!
7. La Rinascente, Florence
Where will we end our trip round the world’s most luxurious department stores? How about La Rinascente – one of Italy’s most famous shopping destinations. With a six-floor store in Florence, as well as 10 other locations in Rome, Milan, Genoa and Palermo, to name a few, La Rinascente is known for its love of fashion, supporting both international designer brands and young local designers and newcomers too. Pay a visit to its flagship store in Florence and make sure to take a trip down to the basement while you’re there – a unique space housing its ‘Made in Italy’ store, packed with souvenir items. Make your way through six floors of fashion and other shopping highlights, and go all the way up to the rooftop terrace for some well-deserved refreshments from its café, and panoramic views of the gorgeous city of Florence below. Bellissimo!