Harrods — London, England
This uppercrust shopping destination, located on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge, London, has wowed visiters for over 160 years and is the biggest department store in Europe.
From its humble beginings as a local grocery store, Harrods has evolved into 7 floors and 330 departments that are dedicated to the very finest in gourmet foods, high end fashion, housewares, and technology. And Harrods isn’t simply for adults; on the thrird floor you will find a spectacular 26,000-square-foot “toy kingdom” with an enchanted forest, intergalactic science lab, curious sweets emporium, and toy ‘Grand Canyon’. When tired of browsing the decadent aisles, there are over 25 different styles of restaurants to choose from, serving eveything from high tea to rotisserie.
Harrods welcomes over 15 million visits a year to its store and is ranked 1 of the top 3 department stores in Europe.
Holt Renfrew — Canada
Holt Renfrew bills itself as “a national retail specialty store of international renown and the headquarters for the world’s most prestigious brands and innovative designers.” Once a purveyor of fashion to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Holt Renfrew began in 1837 as a modest hat shop.
Holt’s, as it is colloquially known, currently operates seven stores across Canada. Its flagship is located on Bloor Street in Toronto’s prestigious neigborhood of Yorkville, along the infamous shopping strip once coined the Mink Mile.
Select locations feature a Holts Café, an informal diner-like concept restaurant that features Poilane bread that is flown in directly from Paris daily. It totes itself as an “ideal setting for everything from a business lunch to a mid-afternoon shopping break.”
Holts holds exclusive Canadian rights to the haute couture of Italian designers Simonetta Visconti and Fabiani, as well as a roster of many other leading international designers. They also proudly contribute to the promotion of new Canadian brands, such as Greta Constantine, designed by Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong.
The Galeries Lafayette — Paris, France
The Galeries Lafayette’s stunning flagship store on Boulevard Haussmann in Paris, France, boasts historic grandeur and Parisien magic — a fashionista’s paradise. Founded in 1895, the namesake now has 280 smaller stores across Europe. Its infamous flagship location was specially designed with an incredible 10-story stained-glass and steel dome, with Art Nouveau staircases and 19 restaurants. Renowned for its weekly fashion shows, Galeries Lafayette boasts a decadent retail experience that is a sheer pleasure for visitors from far and near.
Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele — Milan, Italy
The famed Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a magnificent shopping arcade in Milan, covered with a glass and iron roof. It is often referred to as the world’s very first mall. The interior of the impressive five story structure is decorated with patriotic mosaics and statues, and it features some of the fashion capital’s oldest shops and restaurants.
Named after King Victor Emmanuel II, who laid the first stone himself in 1865, the Galleria was officially opened on September 15, 1867. Work continued for another ten years because of financial burdens — mainly on the imposing triumphal entrance.
The Galleria is often referred to as ‘il salotto di Milano’ — Milan’s drawing room. It connects the Piazza del Duomo and the Piazza di Marino, making for a scenic stroll, and has a new rooftop walkway with stunning views of the city.
Detsky Mir – Moscow
Otherwise know as the Central Children’s Store, this unique complex is dedicated to children and family needs.
The building itself is a vast 73,000 square meters and operates as an educational and entertainment venue, which allows customers to shop and also take part in entertainment activities for kids. Situated amongst many children’s retailers, the 6th floor is allocated to a multiscreen movie theater which hosts a variety of children’s concerts, exhibitions, and theatrical shows. Over 3000 square meters have been allotted for cafes and restaurants that overlook the historical Lubyianka Square.
Bergdorf Goodman – New York, USA
Heralded as a New York institution, Bergdorf Goodman is one of the world’s premiere shopping destinations. This luxury goods department store is based on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. The company was founded in 1899 by Herman Bergdorf and has been kept in the family ever since.
Bergdorf Goodman’s main store, which opened at its current location in 1928, is located on the west side of Fifth Avenue. A separate men’s store, established in 1990, is located directly across the street on the east side of Fifth Avenue, making way for more ladies fashions in the main building. The store is a whopping 190,000 square feet and spans over 9 floors.
In 1981, Michael Kors—at the time an up and coming designer—was offered the opportunity to sell his first collection exclusively in store, which helped secure his success as a luxury brand.
Known for its high profile, luminary cientelle, this iconic store has long catered to the upper crust of New York and has been the subject of two documentary films (Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf’s, 2013, and Dita And The Family Business, 2001), featuring many testimonials from fashion designers and celebrities alike.