Christmas shopping savings in New York

Nathalie Bonney's picture

London has Oxford Street, New York has Fifth Avenue. London has Selfridges, Harrods and Liberty, New York has Macy’s, Bloomingdales and Saks. London has Primark, New York has Century 21. Both great cities, both equally good for shopping.

So when I found myself on a brief visit to the Big Apple, despite being a keen shopper and my trip coinciding with the Thanksgiving weekend sales, I didn’t feel the need to blitz the shops. Sales shopping is right up there with filling in tax returns, (the boredom) ironing (the monotony) and going to the gym (the pain), on my list of undesirable activities.

I did have a quick mooch around Bloomingdales but discovered that 40% off $1,000 plus priced items of clothing is still too much. Having last visited New York when the exchange rate was pretty much a dollar to a pound my mindset was also tipped against shopping; however, the exchange rate now is much more favourable – it’s currently $1.5635 to the pound.

It was only when I got back from NYC and thought of all the different things that I could have bought that I regretted my decision not to go shopping (bar a lot of peanut butter and almond M&Ms) in the Big Apple. This late regret was only compounded further after reading a comparison compiled by the Post Office of the cost of buying presents here in the UK compared to the US. According to its calculations, it would cost 45% less to buy its top 10 ‘must have’ Christmas presents in New York instead of London. Oh dear. Of course, unless you hold a pilot’s license and your own plane – and you’ve got a New Yorker you can stay with, it’s a false economy to claim shopping across the Atlantic is cheaper. But if you happen to be embarking on a festive trip across the pond – or know someone who is, it could be worth drawing up a shopping list pronto.

Here for your interest, are the Post Office’s top 10 presents priced in London and New York:

Present London price New York price
Apple iPod Nano (8GB) £115 £89.91
Elizabeth Arden'8 hour cream' 50 ml £25 £11.85
Women's 7 for all Mankind 'Roxanne' skinny jeans £160 £110.82
UGG classic short boots £175 £104.55
Men's True Religion 'Ricky' straight-leg jeans £319 £122.67
Ray Ban classic aviator sunglasses £188 £96.88
Men's Ralph Lauren long-sleeved half-zip jumper £120 £63.48
Sesame Street Let's Rock Elmo £85 £46.78
Nerf Vortex Nitron Blaster £58 £34.84
Star Wars Ultimate FX Lightsaber – Darth Vader £51 £32.05