Bag a bargain in Big Apple
With world-renowned stores Macy’s and Bloomingales, and countless high-end brands along the iconic Fifth Avenue, New York is a shopper’s dream. Add to that the pictureperfect location, great food, and holiday atmosphere, and it is hard to beat the first class shopping experience the Big Apple has to offer.
Sadly, as we know, it all comes at a price and once you’ve forked out for your flight and hotel it may not leave much for the actual shopping.
And with the pound struggling against the dollar, your money may not go as far as you like.
But New York shopping doesn’t end in the city, and with outlet malls such as Woodbury Common Premium Outlets and Mills at Jersey Gardens, you can still grab a bargain.
Both malls are run by Simon Shopping Destinations, and are not dissimilar to the likes of McArthur Glen retail parks– providing miles and miles of outlet shops where you can pick up a bag or a pair of jeans at a quarter of the original price.
There are regular buses from New York City centre to both malls, with a return ticket costing around $30 – a small price to pay when you consider the savings to be made.
We sandwiched our city centre shopping with a visit to each of these malls, starting with a day at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets – just over an hour north of Manhattan – and a visit to Mills at Jersey Gardens before our flight back from Newark Airport.
With a carefully-planned flight at 7pm, we managed almost a full day’s shopping at the mall before we headed to the airport – just five minutes away.
With regular shuttles for travellers direct to the airport, it takes any hassle or pressure out of getting to the airport on time. And it’s in Jersey, which means there is no sales tax – a small saving, but a saving none-the-less. Again, there are regular buses between New York City and the mall.
There are plenty of deals to be had when it comes to American staple brands such as Vans, Converse, Nike and Ralph Lauren.
I was shopping with four others who all managed to grab a bargain bag from Coach, DKNY or Kate Spade, as well as returning with armfuls of clothes, boots and trainers.
The real savings come from the coupon booklets – a savings passport, which offers you even more money off your shopping. Some stores give you discounts for spending over a certain amount, while others simply reduce the price if you pay by Mastercard. Just be prepared to wade your way through dozens of pages of offers.
And if, like me, you don’t have a mathematical mind, make sure you go armed with a calculator. The endless calculations and currency conversions can certainly send your head in a bit of a spin.
It’s also worth grabbing a map, and if you’ve got limited time, working out a general route. There’s nothing worse than arriving back at your hotel to realise you completely by-passed the American knick knacks at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
Of course, no trip to New York would be complete without a visit to Manhattan. As well as hitting Fifth Avenue and all the big department stores, we made the Thayer Hotel at West Point which shares the campus with the historic military academy.
About 20 minutes from the mall, it was located on the banks of Hudson River in the heart of a beautiful national park.
It was in stark contrast to our Manhattan hotel – The Intercontinental New York Barclay – just off Park Avenue. Five minutes from Central
As evening falls, New York lights up RHIANNON McDOWALL shops till she drops in New York
Rhiannon McDowall enjoys the views of the Manhattan skyline from the top of the Rockerfeller Centre, and, below, The High Line, New York