King of the department stores is Macy’s (151 34th St., at 6th Ave., 212/695-4400). Ten stories high and a full block wide, the store was founded in 1858 by Rowland Hussey Macy, a Quaker from Nantucket.
A few blocks farther northeast, find Lord & Taylor (424 5th Ave., at 38th St., 212/391-3344), a comfortable midsize store that may not be as glamorous as some, but still carries a first-rate selection. One of the store’s most gracious touches is the free coffee, served in a silver pot, that it offers to shoppers who arrive before the place opens at 10 a.m.
Lots of fun for both shopping and browsing is Saks Fifth Avenue (611 5th Ave., between 49th and 50th Sts., 212/753-4000), a wonderfully plush store with high-quality merchandise. Henri Bendel (712 5th Ave., between 55th and 56th Sts., 212/247-1100) is frequented by the very rich and very thin. Bergdorf Goodman (754 5th Ave., between 57th and 58th Sts., 212/753-7300) is a favorite among wealthy socialites.
Cheap, cheerful, and trendy, the Swedish department store H&M is perpetually busy at their multiple locations (including 640 5th Ave., at 51st St., 212/489-0390). ZARA (580 Broadway and other locations, 212/343 1725) is full of fast fashion one step up from H&M.
Once a bargain basement, Bloomingdale’s (1000 3rd Ave., at 60th St., 212/705-2000) is now one of New York’s most glamorous department stores. It’s well worth a browse, even if you’re not planning to buy. Barney’s New York (660 Madison Ave., at 61st St., 212/826-8900) carries fashionable and expensive clothing for men and women.
Paragon Sporting Goods (867 Broadway, at 18th St., 212/255-8036) is the city’s top sporting-goods department store.