Charlottes retail scene boasts a bevy of options to meet any taste, budget and style, from fashionista to frugal shopper. And by national standards, we have arrived as a shopping town.
Some of the biggest names in retail have opened shops here in recent years: IKEA and REI, Whole Foods, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, to name a few. H&M is opening later this year in Carolina Place Mall, and a massive outlet mall is expected in the Steele Creek area next year. Fashion consignment shops are popping up in practically every corner of the city.
Independent stores owned by creative and passionate local retailers abound in all parts of town as well.
Here are a few local favorites, but dont take our word for it get out and explore these and other stores you may not have tried before.
City Art Works
Leave yourself plenty of time to take in all of the unique and whimsical art, jewelry, home furnishings and clothing in this enchanted forest of a shop in the Park Towne Village Shopping Center.
Owners Susan Sloan-Lieb and Alan Goldstein carefully curate their eclectic offerings and have relationships with the artists and designers they sell. Youll find one-of-a-kind pieces from artists including Caroline Simas, jewelry lines Avindy, Ayala Bar and Corallia Leets and Flax clothing.
The merchandise most of it handmade is ever-changing, so its the type of place you want to visit often. The friendly and helpful staff will make you want to stay awhile.
1630 E. Woodlawn Road, Suite 267. 704-527-1300; www.cityartworks.com
Sleepy Poet Antique Mall
With more than 250 booths and a 55,000-square-foot sales floor, the Sleepy Poet is a great place to roam for an afternoon. Munch on free popcorn while you peruse the antique furniture, artwork, vintage clothing, vinyl records, housewares and collectables.
Kitsch-y-Cool Vintage, in the back of the store, is a favorite.
If you visit Sleepy Poet on the weekend, bring your appetite, too some of the citys best food trucks pull up to satisfy hungry shoppers.
4450 South Blvd.. 704-529-6369; www.sleepypoetstuff.com
Nestled in a cozy cottage on East Boulevard in Dilworth, this divine-smelling shop sells everything from linens, rugs and furniture to designer clothing, jewelry and an impressive array of candles, many locally made. (Hence the shops divine smell.)
Its a popular go-to place for gifts, from letterpressed stationary to body lotion and all sorts of baby goodies.
Cottage Chic, 1232 East Blvd.. 704-375-1888; www.chicgoodness.com
Boris + Natasha
A hip, happening staple in Charlottes fashion and culture scene for more than a decade, this Plaza Midwood shop draws hipsters and socialites alike with its colorful, trendy clothes, shoes and accessories for men and women.
Owner Hope Nichols and her staff keep the vibe fun and lively in the store, and sell pieces so eclectic and unique, you wont find them anywhere else in town.
1214 Thomas Ave.. 704-375-0079. http://on.fb.me/16Iu1WF.
This funky, edgy store located in the Epicentre has an expansive selection of mens and womens clothing, shoes, accessories and home décor. There are Chan Luu bracelets, Paige denim and Jonathan Adler candles. Think Urban Outfitters meets Nordstrom.
You must pay to park at the Epicentre ($3 per half-hour, with a $20 max), but Revolution will validate your parking with sales over $60.
210 E. Trade St.. 704-971-1990. www.shoprevolution.com
This innovative boutique in quaint downtown Cornelius is the brainchild of owner Emily Haggarts skill for working a deal.
Haggart, who also owns the Myers Park boutique Fresh, sells some of the biggest brand names in womens clothing at a discount at Avalillys by selling overstock clothing, jewelry and accessories from womens boutiques across the country. All merchandise is in-season, in perfect condition and comes in a wide range of sizes.
Brands range from Trina Turk and Kate Spade to True Religion and Paige Denim. Discounts range from 10 to 50 percent off retail prices. Because the store deals in overstock, theres no re-ordering when an item sells out, so dont wait to buy what you love.
21341 Catawba Ave., Cornelius. 704-987-0037. www.avalillys.com
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