Travel insights from Taylor Coulson, contributing editor of The Compass

Spend Your Time and Money at These 5 Shops Around the World

Forget the crowds and chaos that travelers typically think of when it comes to venturing out to the mall, markets and clothing emporiums while traveling. These five hot spots for shoppers are totally worth your time and money, whether you’re thrifting through vintage wear, touring a chic concept store or simply window shopping.

1. Story in New York

The “story” behind Story in New York changes every four to eight weeks when the retail space reinvents its allure and products. The recurring mission is to have a viewpoint similar to a magazine that rotates often, but like a gallery that sells items, similar to a store. Story is located in Macy’s and is a narrative driven retail concept featuring over 70 brands and close to hundreds of products. Whenever travelers visit this place, they’re part of their own story, at Story.

2. The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles

If this was truly the last bookstore in the world, that wouldn’t be a problem. The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles is a multilevel book and record store that should be on every California-goer’s bucket list. This is an iconic spot even if you’re not a bookworm. It’s 22,000 square feet and split up between multiple floors based on genre, price and non-fiction versus fiction. There are books that frame entrances, staircases and walls all throughout the space, creating an artsy vibe “meant to stimulate the imagination and creative juices, just like the books themselves,” said its owner Josh Spencer.

3. Eataly Market NYC Flatiron

Eataly NYC Flatiron is where travelers can eat, shop and learn all about the high quality food entirely in the same place, replicating the famed Italian market where the mission is for everyone to have access to good eating and shopping, not just connoisseurs. There are multiple locations, but the one in downtown New York City is truly the place to be, since there are so many classes to choose from such as “How to Pair Prosciutto,” “The Story of Prosciutto e Melone,” As well as classes for kids. Everyone leaves happy and definitely not hungry.

4. Merci in Paris

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Merci means “thank you” in French, and this concept store will absolutely make you say “thanks” that it exists. This general store in the heart of Paris, France doesn’t stick to just one theme, carrying name brands, limited edition pieces and affordable items all within a few steps in the store. Merci brings together fashion, art and design, household goods and more importantly, people from all over the world. The industrial vibe of the store flows well with mismatched designs, materials, colors and items in general. This is the spot for travelers that are craving exposure to a creative space.

5. Normann in Copenhagen

Normann is exactly like an exhibition, with its constantly changing window display. Located in Copenhagen, this Danish design company creates innovative and original products to match its contemporary and simplistic approach to everything retail. From furniture and lighting textiles to household accessories, this is the place for the interior designer in every traveler, with carefully curated displays as inspiration with every turn.

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