After a long hiatus, department stores worldwide are finally reopening their doors again, recovering from the effects of a global pandemic. Beyond the glamorous doors, signs of apprehension are finally waning as staff greet customers to air-conditioned surroundings and glittering polished marble floors with displays of everything luxury defines.
Before you delve into the sensation of not knowing where to start, we handpicked five of the world’s most luxurious department stores you must visit. Whether you are looking for designer clothes, high-end beauty products, or simply want to window shop, these stores won’t disappoint.
Bergdorf Goodman, New York
Located on Manhattan’s renowned Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman is considered one of the oldest department stores in New York. Founded in 1899, it operates from two stores across the Street from Fifth Avenue between 57th Street and 58th Street. Almost a century old, Bergdorf Goodman boasts extravagantly decorated and expensively stocked brands exclusive to New York City and the world. Bags and jewelry are displayed like works of art. Located on the seventh floor, the BG restaurant offers extensive views of New York’s iconic Central Park, providing the perfect backdrop to sip a custom-made cocktail or enjoy lunch, tea, or scones.
Harrods has reinforced London’s reputation for well-designed clothes with timeless quality and elegance. Located in Knightsbridge, it was originally founded as a grocery store in 1849. Over time new departments were added, expanding the store’s base. Harrods is known to be a pioneer in store operations. It was among the first department stores in the world to introduce cash desks. Considered an icon in Europe, Harrods sells every luxurious designer brand you could think of. The 7-storey building boasts food halls, restaurants, monuments, and arcade games. Because of its location close to London’s most famous landmarks, Harrods attracts thousands of tourists, architects, history buffs, and even royals.
Jelmoli is Switzerland’s oldest department store; founded 190 years ago, it graces Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse street, attracting Switzerland’s rich and famous shoppers over the years. The department store has thousands of brands spread over six floors. From fine jewellery to brand-name designer clothes along with a food market Jelmoli has it all. Jelmoli’s food market open concept floor plan makes it look more like an indoor supermarket. It carries a range of specialty food and cheeses; the store’s highlight is its cheese cellar with more than 250 types of cheese of the highest quality. A fondue section allows shoppers to explore various selections for take-away or immediate consumption.
Lane Crawford, Hong Kong
Lane Crawford started as a ship chandler in 1850 when Hong Kong was a colony. Today the luxury department store is Asia’s and mainland China’s answer to everything luxurious. For more than 170 years, Lane Crawford has offered the most extensive selection of international designer brands in every category, from women’s clothing and accessories to menswear, shoes, cosmetics, and home and lifestyle goods. The department store has four flagship stores in Hong Kong in some of the city’s largest malls, like IFC Mall and Harbour City Mall in Kowloon.
Le Bon Marche, Paris
Gracing the right bank of the Seine, Le Bon Marche was established in 1852 and is Paris’ first department store. Boasting a high-class elegant ambiance, the store carries a refined selection of designer products. Owners Aristide Boucicaut and his wife Marguerite were both in favour of opening “a store that would thrill all the senses.” This is the place to spot classic brand name items, including exquisite jewelry collections, beautiful couture, and furniture. Among the store’s unique attributes is its limited-edition collection of fashion and jewellery brands.
Aaron Levinson | Staff Writer