A Guide to Shopping in Charlotte
With so many retail therapy options—from outlet malls to boutiques—Charlotte is shopping central.
by Liz Logan
Shopping in Charlotte is both a sport and a pastime. The luxury department stores, alfresco spaces, shopping malls, specialty retailers and bargain outlets located throughout the area give you a great shot at finding whatever’s on your wish list (and discovering exciting little gems that aren’t). Check out some of Charlotte’s go-to shopping spots, where you’ll find designer clothing, stylish accessories, home décor and more.
Charlotte’s oldest shopping mall is also one of the region’s largest. 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 for the fashion-forward.
Just 10 miles north of Uptown, Northlake is a popular destination for those who value style and a big selection. The 150 retailers include H&M, Michael Kors, White House | Black Market and Apple. A 14-screen AMC Northlake 14 movie theater and a variety of restaurants make it easy to spend several blissful hours here.
Carolina Place Mall
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 diverse mix of classic stories everyone loves and off-the-beaten-path stores waiting to be explored creates the ultimate shopping experience.
The mix of traditional retailers and outlet stores makes 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 take in unique entertainment options, including SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium or The Speedpark at Concord Mills, which offers go-karts, mini golf, monster truck rides and more.
Charlotte Premium Outlets
Neighborhood: 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.
Atherton Mill and Market
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 RH Gallery, and upscale and casual dining options, like Bar One Lounge, Bonterra and RH Rooftop Restaurant. The pedestrian-friendly setup makes it a prime place for people-watching.
Shoppes at University Place
Neighborhood: University City
A tranquil lake setting is the backdrop for the more than 38 clothing, electronic and home retailers that set up shop here. Dine at one of a dozen casual restaurants, including Cava Grill, City Barbeque and Zapata’s Mexican Restaurant, take a paddleboat ride or soak up the music at the annual summer concert series.
Hickory Furniture Mart
The Mart houses nearly 100 galleries, stores and outlets and features approximately 1,000 premier furniture lines in a mix of factory outlets, custom showrooms and private galleries on four levels. Searching for home furnishings, accessories, lighting or artwork? In need of design services? You’ll find them here – and at heavily discounted North Carolina prices, no less!
Park Road Shopping Center
Neighborhood: Myers Park
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 and Garden Center for unique finds and choose from upscale eateries, like Osteria LuCa and CO, or lowkey eats like Shake Shack or Velvet Taco.
StoneCrest at Piper Glen
A variety of appealing retail (think Apricot Lane), dining (check out Basil Thai, Smashburger and Flying Biscuit Café) and the Regal 22 Cinemas movie theater in one location draws crowds to this South Charlotte venue. The Summer Concert series has become a hot ticket for Friday and Saturday night, too.
Specialty Shops South Park
Neighborhood: South Park
Various retailers and great restaurants, like Williams-Sonoma, Talbots, Ivy & Leo, Bedside Manor, Bricktop’s, Paco’s Tacos & Tequila and Toscano 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, Vestique, 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.
Charlotteans and visitors alike flock to this three-story South Charlotte shopping and entertainment venue for dining, salon and spa treatments. It’s also the perfect place to find that special, distinctive gift at Abraham Joseph Fine Jewelers or Tinder Box Cigars. For dining, check out Mellow Mushroom, Zinicola and the Blue Taj.
Visiting the city’s boutiques by neighborhood is the best way to get in touch with the local vibe. The city’s diverse population is echoed in each of these enclaves. From NoDa to Dilworth, the shops in each are perfect for every kind of personality.
Known as the Queen City’s arts district, this neighborhood features some of the city’s more eclectic shops, including Pura Vida Worldly Art, Curio Craft & Conjure and Smitten Boutique.
Looking for upscale clothiers and boutiques? You can find Capitol, Boem, Taylor Richards & Conger and Sloan’s Boutique all in this Charlotte corridor.
On a short stroll along this neighborhood’s main drag, East Boulevard, you’ll find Revolution Clothiers & Co., CLT Find Dilworth and Vestique.
Whilst having brunch at some of the city’s favorite eateries, stop by The Brown Sugar Collab, Charlotte Collective – South End and Girl Tribe among this neighborhood’s other shops.
Visit this Charlotte neighborhood for the nightlife but don’t miss the shopping at places like Social Status, Thirty-One Jane, Black Sheep Skate Shop and Moxie Mercantile.
Those who frequent Center City will enjoy dropping into House of Lemond, The Beehive, or Abbeydale on a lunch break or for an after-work shopping spree.
Enjoy an afternoon strolling along between this historic neighborhood’s finest storefronts, including Tabor, Monkee’s of Charlotte and The Sporting Gent.
Vintage & Consignment Shops
When it comes to throwback threads and vintage wonders, Charlotte’s got the scene thoroughly covered. From consignment shops to thrift stores, there’s something for everyone—from every bygone era.
Pop over to Park Road, where this self-proclaimed “savviest consignment shop” features brands that include J.Crew, Tory Burch and Lilly Pulitzer.
Sweet Repeats Boutique
Neighborhood: South End
Those in need of essential wardrobe pieces, like a DVF wrap dress or Louis Vuitton carryall, look no further than this East Boulevard boutique tucked away behind 300 East.
The Rat’s Nest
Not quite what the name may suggest, this NoDa storefront is the epitome of cool, funky finds, including leather jackets, vintage ringer tees and an assortment of cowboy boots that call adventurous shoppers.
Sleepy Poet Antique Mall
Neighborhood: South Charlotte
If vintage furniture and homewares is more your speed, spend an afternoon perusing the aisles of this seller’s market at your leisure.