A Guide to Shopping in Charlotte
With so many retail therapy options, Charlotte is shopping central.
by Cassie Townsend
Shopping in Charlotte is both a sport and a pastime. Alfresco spaces, specialty retailers, luxury department stores and antique outlets are treasure troves for checking off whatever is on your wish list. Browse through the selection of Charlotte’s go-to shopping hubs where you’ll find designer clothing, local shops, big-name brands, stylish accessories, home décor and more.
Traditional and Outlet Malls
Whether you’re looking for your favorite department store and upscale designer, or you’re looking to peruse the racks of discounted favorites, Charlotte’s malls and outlet malls have finds for every style and budget.
Anchored by Nordstrom, Belk, Dillard’s, Macy’s and Neiman Marcus, stores range from high-end luxury, like Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co., to American Girl and Crate & Barrel. It’s a must-stop destination for the fashion-forward. This upscale Charlotte staple is also one of the region’s largest malls.
This 1.2 million-square-foot mall is located right outside of Charlotte and is anchored by Belk, JCPenney, Barnes & Noble and Dillard's. Carolina Place Mall is also home to many unique stores, including American Diva, Francesca's and Build-A-Bear Workshop. This shopping destination offers classic stores and unexpected retailers waiting to be explored.
A mix of traditional retailers, outlet stores and entertainment attractions make Concord Mills equal parts tourist attraction and super mall. It’s nearly 1.4 million square feet of retail therapy conveniently located off I-85, just a mile from Charlotte Motor Speedway. In addition to getting their retail fix, visitors can also spend the day scoping out the underwater wonders at SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium or getting their adrenaline fix at The Speedpark at Concord Mills, which offers go-karts, mini golf, monster truck rides and more.
Area: Southwest Charlotte
With more than 100 outlet stores, Charlotte Premium Outlets has something for everyone. Retailers include Steve Madden, Coach Outlet, Nike Factory Outlet, Janie and Jack, Cole Haan and more. There are also a variety of restaurants and snack shops that allow you to refuel and get back to shopping.
When you’re looking to make a day of shopping, complete with high-end dining, lively events and expert services, these shopping complexes fit the bill.
Neighborhood: South End
Nestled among the hustle and bustle of South End, this reinvented mill space has been transformed to include some of the city’s most-coveted shops and restaurants, including Living Kitchen, Free People, Anthropologie, Savory Spice Shop, The Cocktailery, Bonobos and Warby Parker. Saturday mornings feature farmers markets, with other pop-up markets, classes and live music happening throughout the month.
This European-style outdoor mall offers high-end boutique apparel, like Marmi, Orvis and Brooks Brothers; exquisite home furnishing havens, like Restoration Hardware; and upscale and casual dining options, like Bar One Lounge and RH Rooftop Restaurant. The pedestrian-friendly setup makes it a prime place for people watching.
One of Charlotte’s most historic shopping locales, Park Road Shopping Center features boutiques like Great Outdoor Provision Company, Julie’s Boutique and J. Crew Factory. Browse the aisles of Park Road Books or Blackhawk Hardware for unique finds and choose from upscale eateries like Osteria LuCa and CO, or lowkey eats like Shake Shack and Velvet Taco.
A destination for shopping, dining, family fun and year-round events, the Main Street-esque Birkdale Village is an elevated experience for all to enjoy. Francesca’s has feminine fashion covered while Jos. A Bank Clothiers is filled with high-end masculine finds. Treat yourself to dinner at Fin & Fino, grab pies from Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop and cheers to time well spent at Foxcroft Wine Co.
Shoppers will find national brands like Target, Chico’s and Soma, local shops and an array of dining options at this hub. Do a little retail therapy at Apricot Lane or Target, then stop by Dolce Lusso Salon & Day Spa for some pampering before catching a movie at Regal Cinemas.
Neighborhood: South Park
Various retailers and great restaurants, like Williams-Sonoma, Talbots, Ivy & Leo, Bedside Manor, Bricktop’s, Paco’s Tacos & Tequila and Toscana make up this open-air shopping experience nestled right across the street from SouthPark Mall.
Specialty shops and retail chain stores fill this upscale shopping center with clothing shops for men and women, home goods, entertainment, sports and fine dining. Look for Boem, lululemon, Ever Row and more for fashionable finds and Open Rice, Chop’t Creative Salad Co. and Hazelnuts Creperie, among many others, for tasty bites.
When it comes to throwback threads and vintage wonders, Charlotte’s got the scene thoroughly covered. If you’re looking for antiquing on a grand scale, there’s something for everyone – from every bygone era.
Neighborhood: South Charlotte
For nearly 25 years, Sleepy Poet has been the pinnacle of Charlotte’s antique shopping experience. Recently expanding into a larger space, the antique mall covers more than 60,000 square feet with row after row of vendors of nearly any specialty imaginable. Bring the dog, grab a coffee at in-house The Poet’s Brew and spend a day among the aisles.
Located in a former textile plant, The Depot at Gibson Mill is home to over 750 individual vendors and, at over 80,000 square feet, The Depot is the largest antique mall in the Southeastern United States. More than an antique mall, Cabarrus Brewing Co. and High Branch Brewing Co. are also housed within the mill, along with Johnny Rogers BBQ & Burgers, Defined Coffee and Barcos Sports & Raw Bar, making The Depot at Gibson Mill an absolute must-visit shopping destination.