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Macy's Department Store | © Mike Strand/WikiCommons
Macy's Department Store | © Mike Strand/WikiCommons
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NYC's Most Beloved And Iconic Department Stores

Picture of Dana deLaski
Updated: 18 September 2016
New York City is known for many things, one of which is shopping. People come from all over the world to shop at its famed department stores, and if you’re into fashion, it can be paradise. And while NYC has its share of boutiques and cheap shopping destinations, its luxury department stores are an experience not to be missed. Many of them take up full city blocks, are decked out and designed by renowned architects and designers, and will make you feel like a princess simply by entering. So if you’re looking to shop till you drop, here are some things you may not know about NYC’s most loved department stores.
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Bloomingdale’s

Bloomingdale’s was started by a team of brothers – Joseph and Lyman Bloomingdale – and they initially began by selling hoop skirts in a shop on the Lower East Side. From there, they moved uptown in 1886, and their store began to grow. Its iconic Art Deco façade was introduced in 1931, and it now takes up a full city block. It’s been the location for many theater performances, fashion shows, and events, including the 1947 ‘Woman of the Year’ pageant.

Bloomingdales’s, 1000 3rd Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 705 2000

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Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue is a New York classic – and it’s evident even from its name. It opened in 1924 by cousins Horace Saks and Bernard Gimbel, and its very first location took up an entire block on 5th Avenue. It was the first New York department store to fully develop the idea of window displays, and now, window displays are an integral part of all department store experiences.

God bless America and Saks Fifth Avenue #nyc #concretejungle #america #americanflag #fifthavenue #tourist #nofilter

A photo posted by Melanie Beatus (@melbeats) on

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Barneys New York

Another department store whose name reflects its New York roots, Barneys New York started in Chelsea as a discount reseller. It was started in 1923 by Barney Pressman. It wasn’t until many decades later that his son, Fred Pressman, decided it would be more beneficial to enter the luxury goods market, and ever since, their brand has been about luxury. It opened its current flagship store in 1993, which, at the time, was the largest store in NYC since the Great Depression. It initially had gold-leaf ceilings but has pared down its design since.

Barneys New York, 660 Madison Ave, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 826 8900

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Macy’s

Founded in 1858 by Rowland Hussey Macy, Macy’s began as a small dry goods shop on 14th Street. It moved to its famous 34th Street location in 1902, and it has since expanded to operating 850 stores in the US. Since its inception, it’s become more than just a shopping destination – it’s a landmark known for its window displays and for producing the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the 4th of July Fireworks.

Macy’s, 151 W 34th St, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 695 4400

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Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman was created by French immigrant Herman Bergdorf. It started as a tailor shop in 1899 in Union Square, and Bergdorf took on Edwin Goodman, a Jewish-American, as his apprentice. In the coming years, Goodman was able to buy out Bergdorf, and Bergdorf was able to retire to Paris while Goodman took over. The store was a huge success, and by 1928, Goodman was able to build the façade that still stands today.

Bergdorf Goodman, 754 5th Ave, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 753 7300

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Henri Bendel

Founded by Louisiana-born Henri Bendel, the eponymous department store is one of the few that has its own signature brand. The brown-and-white striped boxes and branding were part of the store from the beginning, and today, they’re still instantly recognizable. Henri Bendel is famous for being the first store to bring Coco Chanel’s brands to the United States and for putting Andy Warhol – the store’s in-house illustrator – on the map.

Herni Bendel, 712 5th Ave, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 247 1100