It may not be as glamorous as New York’s other famous stores, but for sheer breadth of stock, the 34th Street behemoth is hard to beat. You won’t find exalted labels here, though—midpriced fashion and designers’ diffusion lines for all ages are its bread and butter, along with all the big beauty names.
While the giant signs that adorn this department store with the label of “The World’s Largest Store” are not currently true, there’s no doubt that the flagship Macy’s is massive (with a big history to boot). For over a century, New Yorkers and visitors from the world over have been visiting Macy’s at its iconic location at 34th Street and Broadway. Though originally founded as a dry goods emporium in the 19th century, today shoppers flock to the store’s 2.2 million square feet—which takes up a whole city block—to buy clothes, accessories and home goods.
Shop till you drop
As one of the few major brick-and-mortar shops specializing in mid-priced fashion left in New York in this age of online retail and luxury brand–palooza, Macy’s carries a large amount of designer names you recognize that won’t cost you premium prices—especially during the deeply discounted sales offered periodically throughout the year. The 63,000-square-foot shoe department is the biggest on the planet and carries everything from dress shoes and delicate stilettos to work boots and slippers. Last-minute gift shoppers might be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options of perfumes, ties, scarves, watches and more, but great deals await those with patience.
Bloom into spring
Every spring for over four decades, folks have flocked to the Macy’s Flower Show. Extravagant floral arrangements that use roses, violet, tulips and exotic plants you might have never seen before are used to make towering sculptures and stunning landscapes to reflect the year’s theme (past examples include a carnival and America the beautiful). In addition to bringing nature to one of Manhattan’s most busy commercial corners, the Flower Show is also an occasion to grow some knowledge at live demonstrations focusing on flora, fashion and food.
Bring tidings of holiday cheer
After wowing millions of spectators in person and on television with the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the store goes into full holiday mode. The elaborate, festive window displays with animatronic figures and snowy scenes are worth braving the crowds along Broadway in winter. Good little boys and girls (and, okay, grown-ups as well) can have their own miracle on 34th Street when they visit Kris Kringle at Santaland, the store’s seasonal Christmas extravaganza that’s complete with toy trains, elves and, of course, pictures with the big man in red.