Shopping in Detroit

For the flash, the only truly authentic thing to bring home from Detroit would be a car. The rest of us will have to make do with the myriad malls that line Detroit's streets.

Key areas

This is a city built on the automobile and the push to move people to the suburbs, so urban sprawl is prevalent. Thus, Detroit has plenty of out-of-town shopping malls. Downtown shopping is largely confined to the Renaissance Center, which has a number of high quality shops. For a mall worth visiting in the suburbs, check out the Fairlane Town Centre, 18900 Michigan Avenue, which has 160 shops, including all the big names like Sears and JC Penney.

If you’re looking for something more unusual, head to Greektown, Monroe Avenue, with specialist stores.



Detroit is not a huge market town compared to other large American cities, but there are a couple of stand out places. Detroit Eastern Market is a Saturday market that attracts around 45,000 people each week. The six-block sprawl of stalls dates back to around 1890 and the some 250 stallholders sell produce from vegetables and game to home made jams.

For treasure hunting, the Detroit Antique Mall is a trove, with 12 dealers under one massive roof. Art deco and 20th century curios are strongly represented, and the market stretches for about one mile from downtown. But if you’re on the lookout for rare Motown and jazz vinyl, then head to People’s Records on 1464 Gratiot Avenue, a psychedelic looking shop claiming to stock 100,000 second hand records. This is a must for music fans.

Shopping centres

The city’s most elegant mall is the Somerset Collection, which spans Big Beaver Road and houses almost 200 shops. Many global brands are represented, including Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. The Village of Rochester Hills does come close to Somerset’s promised aesthetic, with sophisticated, tree-lined streets for shoppers to wander along. Great Lakes Crossing has the added lure of themed entertainment, along with around 200 shops and restaurants to explore, including designer outlets. You could theoretically hit all of these malls in a single day, but you’d have to be organised as there is some driving distance between them.

Opening hours

Shops are usually open Monday to Saturday 1000-2100, and Sunday 1200-1800.


Michigan wines are a surprisingly popular item to take away from the city and most merchants will stock at least a couple of varieties. Savour award-winning varieties ranging from Riesling to Chardonnay to Pinot Grigio to cabernet and more. The state stone is the Petoskey stone, a pretty patterned coral rock that can be found on the shores of Lake Michigan each spring. Most souvenir stores carry it in one form or another. Shoppers with a sweet tooth will also want to pick up some Michigan maple syrup. Sanders hot fudge is another big hit: there are four different flavours, with milk chocolate being the most popular.

Tax information

Michigan charges a 6% sales tax that isn't refunded on purchases.

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