Americans moving to London, as well as others who plan to relocate to London that has visited the UK most likely have made a visit to Oxford Street. Famed for its shopping since the early nineteenth century it remains one of the largest tourist attractions in the UK. With most retailers having their flagship stores on the street its congestion is literally in the air. This is due to all the diesel fuel run buses that run the street. Yes transportation to Oxford Street is readily available. The shopping district is served by four tube stations and is accessible from that many lines as well.
This area is a favorite for expat Americans moving to London, for that matter, Canadians moving to London as well, and who is surprised? With all the retail happening in such a tightly situated neighborhood literally everything you could want is within walking distance and available to buy. I’d run down the list of my favorites, but it turns out that Wikipedia does this even better [and with less interjection 🙂 ]
Selfridges, the second-largest department store in the UK and flagship of the Selfridges chain, it has been on this site for over a century
- John Lewis, the third-largest department store in the UK and flagship of the John Lewis chain, opened in 1864
- Marks & Spencer, the famous retailer’s flagship store of 170,000 square feet (16,000 m2), at the junction of Oxford Street and Orchard Street, is known as Marks & Spencer Marble Arch and is the company’s largest store. A second branch is located between Regent Street and Tottenham Court Road and stands on the site of the famous Pantheon building. Its fine polished black granite frontage completed in 1938 was awarded Grade II Listed Building status in September 2009.
- Debenhams, the flagship of the national department store chain. Originally known as Marshall & Snelgrove, the store took the name of its parent company in 1973 after the store was rebuilt. The original Debenham & Freebody store was located in nearby Wigmore Street
- House of Fraser, the London flagship of the national department store chain. The store traded as D H Evans until 2000. It is located in an art-deco building completed in 1935; the first department store in the UK to include escalators serving every floor
- HMV, the music retailer has three stores on the street including a concession within Selfridges and its shop at 150 Oxford Street, which is Europe’s largest music shop at 50,000 square feet (5,000 m2)
- New Look, features the largest shoe department and both women’s and men’s clothing ranges of the entire chain in the country.
- Schuh, the largest shoe store on Oxford Street, with the biggest range of branded footwear in London
- Topshop, claimed to be “the largest fashion store in the world”
- Primark, flagship store
- Zara, flagship store
- Gap, flagship store
- Niketown, flagship store
As those of us who have completed our relocation know, it’s not the fanciest area to shop, but certainly is the most dense when it comes to the number of stores. Combine the neighboring Regent Street, and Bond Street and you’ll need a week just to cruise through all of what retailers have to offer. There are literally hundreds of little shops in addition to those above that together will have any type of wares you seek. And for all ladies who suffer beside me, chin deep in shoe-addiction, New Look’s shoe department is breathtaking! Of course if you have anything in your wallet left there’s always Schuh, which I would take up residence in if allowed.
All kidding aside, your relocation is not complete until your living in London, and have spent a complete day immersing yourself in all the famed Oxford Street has to offer. There is a reason after all, that Oxford Street is included on the English version of the Monopoly board.