High-end or low-end, there’s a shop for you in Las Vegas. When looking for things to do, peruse one of the Strip’s six Louis Vuitton stores or fill up bags of casual wear at the world’s largest H&M.
Luxury shopping was the norm in Las Vegas before the recession, but as locals and visitors tightened their belts in the face of the economic downturn, retailers embraced a new model of diversity and accessibility. They realised that for everyone who could happily spend $5,000 (£3,229) on a handbag, there were scores more who likely just wanted to pick up a pair of cute jeans or flip-flops.
Today, nestled among Armani, Balenciaga and Hublot at the marble-lined Forum Shops at Caesars Palace are Gap, Nike and Pandora. Down the street from the opulent Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian is a discount Marshalls store. Clerks won’t greet you with champagne as they do for high-end private shoppers at Tiffany and Co, but if you have time to invest picking through the racks, you can score great deals.
New malls are opening, and existing malls are expanding.
Grand Bazaar Shops in front of Bally’s Las Vegas opened in February and at full capacity will include up to 120 outlets. Unlike most other malls on the Strip, it’s set up as an open-air market. It’s a great place to shop, grab a bite to eat and people watch.
Its centrepiece is a Swarovski boutique designed to resemble a cut crystal. It’s topped with a Starburst made from custom-cut Swarovski crystal and LED lights that’s over 4 metres in diameter and serves as the focal point for the nightly “Midnight Celebration”, a three-minute light-and-sound show at 9pm and midnight. It indeed is dazzling.
In keeping with Grand Bazaar Shopss’ theme, Swarovski also created the ‘Sparkle Exchange’, a bartering window where visitors can negotiate prices for select Swarovski products. The shop also sells an exclusive Vegas line.
With more than 250 retailers, Fashion Show Mall is the largest shopping centre in Las Vegas, and is scheduled to get bigger. Featuring the likes of Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Macy’s Men’s, Dillard’s, Nordstrom and Forever 21, it is on track to open 30 more stores this year, including St. John, Tory Burch, KIKO Milano Cosmetics and Asics.
The retail power-house, which achieved annual sales of more than $1,000 (£646) per square foot last year, is among my favourite shopping spots. It’s huge and has a great selection of stores. Affordable but fashion forward, there’s also a fantastic food court.
On the other end of the spectrum is the Shops at Crystals, home to only the most exclusive retailers. There’s a two-story Louis Vuitton, the largest in the country, and a 929-square-metre Tiffany and Co. The vast majority of us won’t be able to buy much there, but it’s a must-see stop for aspirational window shopping. It’s also stunningly beautiful, with several art installations, water features and gardens.
If you’re looking for souvenirs to bring home, don’t miss Bonanza Gifts, also known as the World’s Largest Gift Shop. It’s an entire strip mall dedicated to Vegas kitsch, featuring knick-knacks, gaming accessories and souvenirs. Buy custom poker chips, dice clocks, posters, mini slot machines, T-shirts, postcards, novelty items and memorabilia.
For more bargain shopping, check out the city’s two Las Vegas Premium Outlet malls – one on the north end of town, the other on the south end. They’re always busy – and there’s a reason. They’re just fantastic. With many high-end designer shops (Coach, Movado), you can snap up luxury items without breaking the bank. Better yet, many of the hotels offer a round-trip shuttle to and from the outlets.
Want a shopping experience in Las Vegas? Book one of our Las Vegas hotels and start planning your trip.