A four-story sign on the side of the building trumpets MACY'S, THE WORLD'S LARGEST STORE -- a hard fact to dispute, since the 10-story behemoth covers an entire city block, dwarfing even Bloomie's uptown. Macy's is a hard place to shop: The layout impedes traffic flow, the service is forgettable, and the best part about its Herald Square location is usually leaving it. But they do sell everything. Renovations over the past few years has redesigned many departments into more manageable "ministores" -- there's a Metropolitan Museum Gift Shop, a Swatch boutique, and cafes and makeup counters on several floors -- but the store's one-of-a-kind flair is just a memory now (with the exception of the wooden escalators on the Seventh Ave. side of the building). Still, sales run constantly, holiday or no (1-day sales are popular on Wed and Sat), so bargains are guaranteed. And because so many feel adrift in this retail sea, the store provides personal guides/shoppers at no charge. My advice: Get the floor plan and hopefully it will keep you from wandering off into the sportswear netherworld. At Christmastime, come as late as you can manage, because the store is usually open until midnight in the final shopping days before the holiday.
- © Frommer's 2013