Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann

Inside Galeries Lafayette, Paris | Source: Hotels.com

The Most Iconic Luxury Department Stores Around the World

The department store is considered a retail world staple, however, there are certain shops that are simply a cut above the rest. Transcending the convenience and practicality of the department store concept, these iconic fashion hubs are an attraction in their own right.

Although e-commerce sites and online shopping have put pressure on brick and mortar shops, the most iconic department stores in the world are far more than just retail outlets. Filled with stunning architecture and top brands, these established department stores attract both keen shoppers and tourists alike.

Harrods – London

Arguably the most famous department store in the world, Harrods was founded in 1849 and to this day is a London landmark attracting tourists from across the globe. As the biggest department store in Europe, Harrods is comprised of 330 departments which cover 100,000 square metres of retail space selling a range of luxury goods including clothing, jewellery, beauty items, houseware and furniture. The high-end store also has a dress code for customers that includes no swimwear, athletic clothing, sandals or bare feet.

Harrods
Source: Raconteur

Galeries Lafayette – Paris

Such is the allure of this famous French landmark, shopping at this department store is on many people’s bucket list. Opened in 1912, the glass and steel dome construction with Art Nouveau staircases feels more like a piece of art where ten floors of luxury retail are at customers’ disposal. While the 70,000 square metre flagship store remains in the centre of Paris, Galeries Lafayette is now a department store chain opening more than 50 stores in a range of locations.

Galeries Lafayette-department-stores
Source: Luxatic

Bloomingdale’s – New York

It’s no secret that New York is one of the top shopping capitals of the world so it makes sense it would be home to some of the most famous luxury department stores. Known for its designer brown bags and Christmas window displays, Bloomingdale’s is an American institution that’s more than 150 years old. While the luxury retail chain has 55 locations, a strong online presence and even a Bloomingdale’s app, its flagship Manhattan store remains an iconic attraction.

Isetan – Tokyo

Japan is known for being on the very forefront of the fashion industry and arguably the country’s most fashionable department store, Isetan, is known for being the first to showcase new trends and innovative products. The high-end department store hosts both western and Japanese luxury brands, has a floor dedicated to up and coming Japanese designers and features a whole building solely for men’s fashion.

Isetan-department-store
Source: Explore Japan

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele – Milan

Opened in 1877 and considered one of the world’s first malls, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is far from a traditional department store with retail space spread over several covered streets. In the heart of Italy’s fashion capital of Milan, the four-storey double arcade is crafted with beautiful arching glass and cast iron roof built by architect Giuseppe Mengoni. Inside are some of the country’s most famous luxury stores and restaurants including Louis Vuitton, Prada and Biffi Caffè.

Galleria-Vittorio-Emmanuele-Milan
Source: Luxatic

KaWaDe – Berlin

Kaufhaus des Westens, or ‘department store of the west,’ is the second-largest department store in Europe after Harrods with over 60,000 square metres of retail space attracting 40,000 to 50,000 visitors per day. The historic building designed by German architect Emil Schaud was badly damaged during World War II and was then slowly rebuilt until it was reopened to the public in 1956.

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