London is expensive, sprawling and crowded. Many of the high streets across the capital can look like identikit retail experiences rolled out to order. But despite all of this, it is still voted amongst the best, if not the best, shopping city in the world, which comes down to one thing: it simply has everything you could want.
The Globe Shopper City Index notes that London outstrips all other European cities in terms of the quality of the shops and the availability of international and local brands. Whether you go to one of the many excellent department stores (in this, London really excels) or hit up the high streets (Oxford Street and High Street Kensington are the most famous), it’s unlikely there’s a global brand you can’t find.
As with any major capital, shopping here is an opportunity to be steeped in the city’s history, whether it’s the arcades of famous Covent Garden, with Eliza Doolittle singing prettily in your head, or the swinging sixties headquarters of Carnaby Street.
But London’s best treasures are its most esoteric: the multicultural local markets in every corner of the city and the backstreet one-off boutiques. This list covers the full range of shopping experiences available in London, from mainstream to independent.