"Even the Queen stopped here during her visit in 1976!"
- Michelle Young, Founder of Untapped Cities.
Bloomingdale’s is one of New York City’s most storied department stories, from its famous Brown Bags to its premier designer shopping experience. Welcoming millions of visitors each year, it’s no wonder Bloomingdale’s coined the phrase ‘like no other store in the world’. Even the Queen stopped here during her visit in 1976!
Lyman Bloomingdale opened the Ladies’ Notions Shop on the Lower East Side with his father selling hoop skirts in 1860. Shortly after, they moved to 3rd Avenue between 59th and 60th Street and business was so robust, the store expanded to take up the entire block to Lexington Avenue over the next fifteen years. In the early 1900s, Lyman Bloomingdale began launching flashy advertising campaigns, most notably with the slogan “All Cars Transfer to Bloomingdales.” This tradition continued through the 20th century – in 1984, Bloomingdale’s sold 35-ounce bags of ice chips from a 100,000-year-old glacier in Greenland for $7 a bag. Just one example of how Bloomingdales, from the very outset, has placed opulence and extravagant shopping experiences alongside the practicality of offering everything under one roof.
"The old school glamour associated with a bygone time can still be found (and purchased) here."
Today, Bloomingdale’s remains very much tied to its central heritage, selling men’s and women’s apparel, luxury accessories and shoes, along with a wide range of home goods from fine china to furniture and cookware. It’s a bustling space inside, full of Art Deco details and the store’s signature black and white tiling. To date, the old school glamour associated with a bygone time can still be found (and purchased) here, particularly on the first floor with its handbags and makeup counters, matched with modern conveniences and products. There’s something new to see at every turn.
You can be sure to find, luxury like Louis Vuitton and Burberry, and trendy lines like A.P.C. as well as Rag & Bone. Designers often offer exclusive products only available at Bloomingdales. The department store also draws well-known artists, like Jeff Koons, who have created custom windows for the Lexington Avenue store. During the holiday season, Bloomingdale’s partakes in the city-wide tradition of showcasing over-the-top window displays that are revealed with great anticipation to residents and visitors alike each year.
"A truly unique and unforgettable shopping experience in New York City."
With customer service at the forefront, the store still offers personal shopping services for him and her or a group, where you can have a dedicated expert personal consultant who is up to date on all the latest fashion trends. It’s a VIP experience offering everything from styling and gifting advice, to tailoring services and special services including increased security (for high rollers) and birthday parties (for special occasions).
You simply cannot miss the food options inside Bloomingdale’s. Grab cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery on the first floor or go hit up Forty Carrots café, which opened in Bloomingdale’s in 1975 catering to the health-conscious fashionista. Newcomers include David Burke’s Burke Bar Café or Burke in the Box for takeout, a N’Espresso café and Flip, a fast-food burger joint.
For a truly unique and unforgettable shopping experience in New York City, head down to Bloomingdale’s flagship uptown Location is at 1000 Third Avenue (with the main entrance on Lexington Avenue).
About the author
Michelle Young is the founder of Untapped Cities, a web magazine and tour company about urban discovery that offers insider experiences to New York City’s most off-limits places. Author of 'Secret Brooklyn: An Unusual Guide', 'New York: Hidden Bars & Restaurants', and 'Broadway', Michelle appears regularly as a guest speaker in documentaries, on television, and at conferences on urban issues. Originally from New York, she has travelled to over forty countries and is always looking for the next adventure.