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Shopping on State Street: Where Iconic History Meets Modern Retail

Posted  15 days ago

5 MIN READ – We live in a world dominated by technology, constantly shifting our eyes from one screen to another. The same goes for online shopping, providing access to endless options and endless scrolling, which isn’t always a good thing. Time to take a break from our screens and step out into the bustling world of the iconic and historic State Street, and revel in good old-fashioned retail therapy. From iconic department stores to niche specialty shops, State Street’s retail corridor remains a central shopping area for Chicagoans and visitors alike.

Unlike many shopping experiences across the country, the sheer sensory experience of shopping on State Street remains a compelling reason to hit the stores IRL. You’ll hear the buzz of the “L” trains as they make their way around the Loop. And once you walk on to State Street, you feel the infectious energy of office workers, students, and tourists navigating their way to their next destination. Most importantly, a variety of great stores and shops located in some of Chicago’s most architecturally significant buildings abound.

You cannot miss Macy’s flagship store, located at 111 N. State in the historic Marshall Field building, recognized as a National Historic Landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. As you make your way through Macy’s seven floors of shopping, admire their mosaic vaulted ceiling, and schedule in a pit-stop to The Walnut Room for a delectable meal that will refuel you for the rest of your shopping adventure.

Next, head on over to Block Thirty Seven, a five-level shopping center located at 108 N. State. Here, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a plethora of clothing and specialty shops, food & beverage spots, and immersive experiences such as Verse Immersive, AMC Theatres, and Five Iron Golf. Block Thirty Seven offers something for everyone to enjoy in the heart of State Street, so give yourself enough time to explore its bounties.

You also won’t miss the coolest-looking Target to exist (in our opinion), located at 1 S. State in the Sullivan Center, which some also refer to as ‘goth Target’. Not your typical Target exterior, the nickname “goth Target’ stems from the dark and moody vibe of the iron ornamentation of the building’s original early 1900s design completed by architect Louis H. Sullivan.  Once inside, you’ll find all your standard Target needs such as groceries, electronics, office supplies, and more.

Along the walk, you’ll also find many other great retailers like Saks OFF 5TH, Nordstrom Rack, JD Sports, and Five Below along State Street, with other local retailers such as Syd Jerome and Central Camera right off State Street offering specialized products or services.

Simply put, shopping in person on State Street offers a level of personalization and human connection that online retailers can’t match. In-person shopping means genuine interactions with a knowledgeable sales associate or engaging in friendly banter with fellow shoppers – creating a sense of community that pervades the in-person retail experience.

Beyond retail offerings, State Street serves as a vibrant cultural hub,  just steps from renowned institutions like the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Cultural Center. After a day of shopping, you can easily extend your adventure by exploring museums and galleries, theatre shows, and restaurants, adding an enriching dimension to your outing. Perhaps you’ll decide to turn your retail therapy day into a weekend staycation in the Chicago Loop!

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