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Shopping: More than ever, Westchester is a shopper's paradise


(Original publication: October 30, 2005)

Hey, big spenders, Westchester shopping is now more upscale than ever.

Gucci, the high-end retailer best known for its luxury leather goods and fabulous fashions, is one of the new arrivals at The Westchester mall in White Plains, joining Tiffany, Tumi, Tourneau, Louis Vuitton and Dooney & Burke. And let's not forget the anchors, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.

With its marble floors, brass rails, sculptures and fountains, this 827,000-square-foot shopping nirvana offers consumers an experience on par with the world's ritziest streets. Think of it as Madison Avenue under one roof.

The 10-year-old complex recently has undergone a bit of reshuffling. Lilly Pulitzer has moved in, as has Pottery Barn Kids and jeweler Georg Jensen. Other tony stores have expanded, including Burberry, Bandolino and Apple. Spenders will be in their element. But The Westchester also has some doors that not-so-deep pockets will want to open, such as Gap, Express and Guess?, to name just to name a few.

Shoppers more interested in cheap chic, however, may want to check out the up-to-the-nanosecond merchandise at the Galleria at White Plains. Just shouting distance from The Westchester, this 130-store mall, anchored by Sears and Macy's, is a decidedly different shopping experience. With stores like Forever 21, H&M, Old Navy, Ann Taylor Loft and Aéropostale, this is the place to buy the trends without breaking the bank. Plus-size retailer Torrid is a newcomer to the mall and offers the latest looks for larger women.

White Plains has been the shopping capital of Westchester County for decades, but each year its importance as a regional shopping destination grows.

At The Source in White Plains, across the street from The Westchester, Fortunoff's 180,000-square-foot store is filled with jewelry and home furnishings in a range of prices. The Source also is home to Destination Maternity, which not only caters to all the shopping needs of mothers-to-be and new moms but also has a day spa for pregnant women.

The Westchester Pavilion mall, which also is across the street from The Westchester, has been the place to go for Borders Books & Music and Toys "R" Us. Now, thanks to Daffy's, which is opening its first Westchester store, The Pavilion has become a destination for those looking for stylish duds at discount prices.

Speaking of style and savings, the new City Center in White Plains is the place to go, not just for the movies and community theater but for discounted designer clothes at Filene's Basement and rock-bottom-priced chic fashions and home furnishings at Target.

And then there's Bloomingdale's. Bloomies, a free-standing store in sprinting distance from The Westchester, is well, Bloomies, with fashions for everyone in the family, furnishings for every room in the house, and always with an eye to what's new and happening.

White Plains may be the jewel in Westchester's shopping crown, but it's hardly the only place to whip out the plastic and shout "Charge it!"

The Vernon Hills Shopping Center in Eastchester, together with an adjoining Lord & Taylor, is another shopping magnet.

The outdoor center brings together more than a dozen stores, including Gap, Banana Republic, Fontana Bridal Salon, Talbots, Capretto Shoes, The Papery, Brooks Brothers, and a Smith and Hawken garden center.

In Yorktown Heights, the 600,000-square-foot Jefferson Valley Mall, anchored by Macy's and Sears, boasts 110 stores, including Ann Taylor Loft, Charlotte Russe, The Disney Store, Foot Locker, Motherhood Maternity, Things Remembered and Zales Jewelers. Here, weary shoppers can take a break at the eight-screen movie theater.

Cortlandt Town Center in Mohegan Lake is an outdoor shopping experience with more than 40 retailers such as Marshalls, Bombay Stores, Pier 1 Imports, Seaman's Furniture and Modell's Sporting Goods.

Yonkers is where you'll find the Cross County Shopping Center, which was built in 1954 and has the distinction of being the county's oldest shopping mall.

This outdoor promenade, anchored by Sears and Macy's, is lined with more than 100 stores. It joins together national chains such as Limited Too, Old Navy and Victoria's Secret with one-of-a-kind mom-and-pop shops.

Just across the street, the Mall at Cross County is an indoor space with 20 stores, including the Sports Authority, T.J. Maxx, AJ Wright, Circuit City and Home Goods.

The Empire State Flea Market Mall & Jewelry Exchange in the Kohl's shopping center in Port Chester is a weekend destination for those looking for fine jewelry. It's open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday and seven days a week from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve.

The mall also brings together vendors selling various kinds of merchandise.

While Westchester is rich in malls, boutiques and small shops line the streets of its cities, villages and towns, where shoppers can buy stylish clothes, fabulous antiques, gifts and collectibles, home furnishings and electronics at every price.

Just a few of the best shopping streets in Westchester: Pondfield Road in Bronxville, Purchase Street in Rye, Larchmont and Chatsworth avenues in Larchmont, Main Street in Tarrytown, Katonah Avenue in Katonah, and Central Park Avenue, which runs through several communities, including White Plains, Hartsdale and Yonkers.

Reach Barbara Nachman at bnachman@thejournalnews.com or 914-694-5081.

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