Not only is it Iconic Friday, it’s also Black Friday! That means we have a special post just for today, highlighting some of the most iconic shopping experiences around, past and present.

5. The Supercenter.


Walmart in Beijing

Well, there is something iconic about one-stop shopping stores like Walmart and Kmart. Unlike most shopping venues in Europe and elsewhere, where you might visit the bakery and the meat market and the clothing store, in America you can find countless stores that offer a little of everything — dry goods, produce, meat, health care, pets, clothes, garden, toys — and all at discounted prices, too. You’re starting to see these supercenters pop up around the world, but it all started here with a little entrepreneurial ingenuity.

4. Trajan’s Markets. Back in the glory days of Rome, Trajan’s Markets were the place to go for all things shopping. Standing up to six stories tall in some places, the Markets housed around 150 shops and sold everything from food to jewelry to flowers to clothes. And like today’s shopping malls, it was also the place to get the latest news and gossip.

3. The Medieval Faire. One of the largest faires in medieval Europe was in Champagne, France. With the growth of international trade routes, Champagne stood at the crossroads of the world. It was the place you could find the most exotic things from distant lands — spices from the East, rich dyes and glass from Italy, wool from the north. And we have the medieval faires to thank for things like international standards for weights and measures.

2. The Mall of America. The largest mall in America is found in Bloomington, Minnesota of all places. With crazy features like a theme park, a wedding chapel, a miniature golf course and a full aquarium, there’s so much more than just shopping. But its 500+ stores should more than satisfy even the most hardcore shoppers.

Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

1. The Grand Bazaar.This huge covered market in Istanbul has been thriving ever since the Middle Ages. With over 5,000 stores, it is a vibrant, exotic, bustling hub where you never know what you might find. Standing on the opposite side of the spectrum from the supercenters that started this list, the Grand Bazaar represents one of the most unique, and most iconic, shopping experiences around.


Photo credits:
Walmart: galaygobi / Foter / CC BY

Grand Bazaar: exfordy / Foter / CC BY