With so many travellers (and Australians) who travel to Las Vegas every year for work or pleasure (or to have their own “Hangover” adventure) there is more to Vegas than gambling, stage productions, conventions and the Grand Canyon.
And what may that be?
When people think of shopping in the USA; Los Angeles & New York are normally the cities of shopping mecca choice, but Vegas has much to offer shoppers of all ages and budgets, and with either a short flight from L.A, Luxbus from LA or Anaheim or hiring a car…it’s also a more economical way to spend those shopping dollars rather than travelling to New York.
So where to start?
When planning to shop in Vegas there are 10 simple rules
- Pack light or nothing at all. You can often bring an empty suitcase within a suitcase to save buying extra luggage while travelling. Pack the bare essentials. You will need room for those new clothes, shoes and other purchases! Extra suitcases are cheap to buy though!
- Go with a plan of attack. Have you been to the States before? Do you have any favourite stores that you like to frequent? Shopping, while it may be fun is also very tiring, especially in a city like Vegas. Make a list of stores or malls/outlets that you think may interest you and start early in the day. (All the outlets and malls have a list of of their stores online)
- Coupons and discount cards can save you extra $$$$.
Various hotels will have booklets of discounts for their in house stores, The malls and Outlets all have VIP cards (join at their information desks when you arrive for the card a coupon of discounts).
Google “Vegas shopping discounts or coupons”. Normally you can print off coupons before you travel for certain special deals that may interest you on your travels (and this includes coupons for food, tours, transport and shop discounts)
- Don’t forget the Sales tax. There is nothing more frustrating than thinking you have a great deal…but remember Vegas will add 8.1% at checkout on retail purchases.
- Bring your passport (or a photocopy with you). Often when shopping in the USA some stores will want to see a copy when paying with credit card or joining up to a store/mall club. Not all do, but take a copy just in case.
- Know your shoe size. US sizes are different to Australian sizing, so if buying for anyone back home know their size! (A good example of this is Nike Shoes where exact sizes really matter
- If staying in one of the many Vegas hotels do check out their shops also. Many shops will give extra discounts to paying hotel guests, so don’t discount it if you see something you like and ASK!
- You may want to take advantage of the cheap day passes of the Vegas monorail. This option allows you to enjoy unlimited rides from the northermost part to the southernmost part of the strip.
- Consider how many bags you can carry while you shop. Enquire whether there are deposit locations in The Malls or The Outlets so you can collect them all in one go (and a quick cab ride back to your hotel if need be)
- Don’t forget currency conversion. When the US dollar was in our favour as Australians, retail therapy was more like shopping heaven! Now that the dollar isn’t as favourable, do have a currency app on your phone or make a small card shape chart with various common amounts to keep in your purse/wallet to see if that bargain is really a good deal or not.
Now where to go?
The Hotels: Don’t forget the big hotels: With so many hotels on the strip, many people choose to take pictures outside and not realise that inside is some of the best shopping to be had in Vegas with stores not heard of in Australia, plus the big names you’d be familiar with. And don’t be scared away by the designer names you may see….there are serious deals to be had!
Some of the favourites include:
Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace:
There are more than 160 stores, boutiques, and restaurants offering just about everything including clothing, cosmetics, jewelry, lingerie, collectibles, and much more. Here are a few examples: Abercrombie and Fitch, Agent Provocateur (lingerie), Armani Exchange, Ann Taylor, Anthropologie, Apple Computers, Bettie Page Boutique, Brooks Brothers, Cache, Cartier, Christian Audigier, Christian Dior, Christian Louboutin, Diesel, DKNY, Dolce & Gabbana, Faberge, Fendi, GAP, Gucci, Guess, H&M, Harry Winston jewelry, Jimmy Choo, Juicy Couture, Lacoste, Louis Vuitton, MAC Cosmetics, Marc Jacobs, Nike, Swarovski, Tiffany & Co., and Versace. Add in a fish aquarium and talking statues and this is one to see and enjoy!
If you intend to shop, or simply window-shop, at many of the high-end and couture designers. The Bellagio contains many fashion houses, such as Chanel, Armani, Gucci, Fendi, Prada, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Tiffany’s.
This is one of the most unforgettable shopping experiences on the Strip. Shops like Dooney & Bourke, Sephora, Rockport, the Art of Shaving, or Peter Lik’s gallery of fine-art photography. Amble under blue-sky ceilings alongside the Grand Canal. All roads, balustraded bridges, and waterways lead to St. Mark’s Square, an enormous open space full of gift-shop carts and street performers. If you need to take a load off, hail a gondola! Plenty of shopping and lots of fun!
A great find for unique items, such as furntiture, vintage or lesser known designers. Also houses some of the best like Alexander McQueen, Hermes’, Dior and only the 2nd shop in the USA of shoe megastar Manolo Blahnik!
There is only one reason I’m including The Mirage on this list for shopping: Kardashian Kaos. Like them or not, the Kardashian empire is hugely popular in the USA where they treated like royalty and this is the first celebrity concept store of it’s kind. I stumbled across this store after being in L.A, where their other stores “Dash” never really have set opening hours so i missed out then. You can purchase all Kardashian merchandise here including DVDs, Clothing, Jewellery, Perfume and more. Plus tourist shoppers they like to take pictures of and tweet!
There are quite a few different outlets in Vegas with these three being the most popular. My personal favourite is South (especially on a hot day when the fans spray cool water on you as you walk past!). Some of the prices at the outlets are dirt cheap (similar to Citadel in L.A).
Don’t forget to sign up online also before you go as they often give out 50% off coupons via email. Apply for the card and discount booklet at each different outlet you visit.
If you love name brands but hate the price tags, this is the place to go. The Las Vegas Premium Outlets-North is the best outlet mall in Las Vegas and holds stores like Juicy Couture, Bass, Burberry and Oakley. Kids will love visiting the Disney Store Outlet and parent’s will love the prices at the Gymboree Outlet store. Shoppers can also find specialty shops like Vitamin World and a Lancome outlet shop. The outlets are conveniently located right off the 15 freeway. Into the arts? This mall has the added bonus of being located next to Art District, so you can enjoy events at both.
Find impressive savings at Adidas, Aeropostale, Ann Taylor, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, Coach, DKNY, Guess, Kenneth Cole, Michael Kors, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Reebok, Timberland, Tommy Hilfiger, True Religion and many more. At south end of the Strip.
Fashion Outlets is a single-level, fully enclosed upscale specialty outlet shopping destination showcasing the world’s best collection of designer manufacturers featuring discount prices, including Neiman Marcus Last Call Clearance Center, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store, Burberry Factory Outlet, Williams-Sonoma Marketplace, Banana Republic Factory Store, Old Navy Outlet, Escada Company Store, Coach Factory Store, Bally Outlet, St. John Company Store, Tod’s, Tommy Bahama, Kenneth Cole New York,BCBG Max Azria, Versace Company Store and more
While there are quite a few malls in Vegas, the biggest and best of them all is the Fashion Show Mall.
Fashion Show has the best free entertainment for fashion addicts, including live runway shows all weekend long. The mall also offers a wonderful variety of high-end and more moderately priced shopping options. They recently completed a dramatic $362 million expansion and remodeling that transformed it into an unrivaled fashion venue with nearly 2 million square feet. It offers the world’s most exceptional lineup of anchor stores, with Neiman-Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s Home, Macy’s, Dillard’s, Robinsons-May and Nordstrom all under one roof.
Some personal favourite stores to check out in Vegas:
There are 20 Walmart stores in the Vegas city area, with over half of them open 24 hours. I believe everyone should experience Walmart at least once in their lifetime.
What’s on offer? You name it, they sell it. AND CHEAP! Everything from printing photos instore, food, alcohol, clothing (including major brands and things like MBL merchandise), Electronics, Shoes, Lingerie. Think of Australia’s versions of Kmart, Target, Best and Less, Harris Scarf and parts of Costco and it is still nothing like the bargains you can get from Walmart.
Tip: They sell huge black travel duffle bags on wheels for $7 that come with straps, pockets, zips and hold securely around 20kg of clothing and shoes. A cheap and secure option if you need to purchase more luggage just to bring things home. Made safely back through 3 connecting flights at some of world’s busiest airports!
Not like Australian target. This is more like an upscale version of Walmart in certain ways, with brand names at very low prices. Champion, Everlast, Mossimo to name a few which retail from $50-$120 an item in Australia are from $10 to $30 here in Target. For those of you that have children that dance…Target US sell Ballet and Dance shows (the best brands possible for dancers) at 80% less cheaper than what Australian retailers sell.
Throw in a slab of beer, Pizza Hut or KFC and whatever else you find you’ll just put into your trolley…and Target is a serious place to shop for all types of budgets and goods needed.
Heard of it? Possibly not, but Ross is one of the hidden gem’s in America and there are 3 stores in Vegas. Their stock changes all the time; everything from Clothing for all ages, Shoes, Homewares. The stores are generally an absolute mess (as they get dumped with all the stock the major department stores no longer sell), however I have known people to pick up a DKNY dress for $10, Vera Wang bag for $20 and other bargains. Go through the racks (they’re in categories), push your way through like the other shoppers and have fun…who knows what you’ll find?!
TJ Maxx and Marshall’s
T.J. Maxx offers fashionable, brand name family apparel, home fashions and other merchandise, such as beauty products. T.J. Maxx differentiates itself from Marshalls with an expanded range of fine jewelry and accessories, and in some stores, The Runway, a high-end designer department.
Again, some fantastic deals to be had….stock changes daily in both stores. Numerous locations of both around Vegas.
Gold and Silver Pawn Shop (Pawn Stars):
According to cab drivers in Vegas, one of the most popular things they’re asked these days is “Where is Pawn Stars?”
I visited Gold and Silver Pawn in 2012 when the show was just starting to become popular. You can’t walk there…it’s in the industrial part of old Las Vegas. It was roughly a $25 (with tip) cab ride there, and $18 (with tip) on the return to the MGM.
Don’t go there expecting to see anyone from the show as they have set filming days and won’t let regular shoppers inside. If you do turn up on a non filming day, the lines are long (all very cordial with rope, security guards, taxis waiting to transport people, and a hot dog booth).
Once inside the front counters have some of the products you may see in regular pawn stars (as well as the loan section which is off limits to photograph). Towards the back is filled with Pawn Stars merchandise where the punters were going crazy over bobble-heads, t-shirts, pens, astrays, signs, posters, lighters…anything and everything PS related made merchandise!
I was determined to actually become a “shopper” so tried to do a deal on a model car as a gift for back home. Purchased it, asked if they had any autographed pics of the cast they could throw in…and deal was done, and I was pretty happy for a couple of hours of lame Vegas fun.
I hope you’ve found some of this information helpful when planning your next shopping trip to Vegas.