London is a Mecca for shoppers, bargain hunters, fashion addicts, and souvenir collectors. There is never a shortage of shopping options, and a little afternoon window-shopping trip can turn into a full-blown spending spree.
When budget is a consideration, Oxford Street is the place to be. Busy is an unfair understatement when describing this place, as it is packed with Londoners and tourists every single day of the week. In the 60s, Oxford Street was home to designer boutiques, and today is being revived as a 90s shopping haven.
Oxford Street stretches for 2 miles and has tons of stores and cut-rate shops, most of which make excellent shopping for tourists. Shops include prominent names such as Next, River Island, Dixons, and Top Shop. There are also large department stores such as Debenhams, John Lewis, and Selfridges.
For those who demand the cutting edge in fashion, Oxford Street’s Marble Arch Marks & Spencer stocks fresh new items as they come out, items that one would not find anywhere else. The early bird gets the worm at this Marks & Spencer store, as fashionistas rabidly await new lines being launched and devour them as they come.
Those who prefer a more laidback, leisurely shopping experience, St. Christopher’s Place is a shopping oasis in the heart of the city. The Place is an intimate stylish mix of one-off stores and designer outlets. Some of the designer outlets include Nicole Farhi, Moschino, Dries Van Voten, and Martine Sitbone. For accessories, there’s Antonia Pollack jewelry, Robert Clergerie shoes, and Storm fashion accessories. Shoppers be careful, for you may enter The Place with a full wallet and leave with an empty one.
Another important shopping road that is on the threshold of revival is Carnaby Street . In the 40s and 50s, Carnaby Street was mainly dominated by suit-making shops that supplied Saville Row. In the mid-50s, a shop called Vince opened that supplied outrageous fashions to the gay minority of London . Since then, trendy and funky boutiques have never been in short supply on Carnaby Street. Today, there are more tacky shops than ever, but the discerning shopper will find hip stores in the little crannies here and there. Newburgh Street, which crosses Carnaby, has become home to some up-and-coming fashion designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier.