Shopping in Wilmington is some of the best retail experiences in North Carolina! It’s home to many shopping centers, malls, and villages that offer a wide variety of stores and products. You’ll find something that suits your needs, from brand-name clothing to consigned home furnishings.
In Wilmington’s River District, there is a unique shopping experience. Explore the 19th-century Cotton Exchange’s eight restored buildings, with 30 specialty shops and restaurants connected by open-air courtyards. Market and Front Streets are home to a mix of locally owned stores, with everything from one-of-a-kind gifts to vintage clothing and antiques.
Finally, Wilmington and the Island Beaches offer a range of beach chic boutiques, destination malls, shopping villages by the sea, and surf shops. Whatever your shopping goals, you’ll find something perfect in Wilmington.
The Best Places to Go Shopping in Wilmington
1. Independence Mall
Independence Mall, located less than a 15-minute drive from Riverlights, offers a classic shopping experience. The mall is home to a variety of both traditional and trendy stores, such as JCPenny, Belk, Dillards, American Eagle, and Pacsun. In addition, shoppers can find popular stores like Bath and Body Works, Yankee Candle, and Ulta Beauty.
2. Antiques of Old Wilmington
Downtown Wilmington is known for its collection of chic antique shops, and Antiques of Old Wilmington is the perfect place to begin your vintage treasure hunt. Established in 1982, this all-encompassing destination is conveniently located along Front Street and is nestled in a historic brick building just a block away from the Cape Fear River. With a whopping 6,000 sq. ft. of space, Antiques of Old Wilmington will surely have something to satisfy your style and interest.
The store features one of the largest antique lighting collections in the Southeastern United States and a variety of antique furnishings. The shop has more than 20 historic barrister bookcases and is packed with thousands of small items, such as cameos, vintage jewelry, paperweights, glassware, decanters, oil lamps, egg plates, bit glass, and old pipes. The selection of candlestick holders is also quite decadent.
No matter what you are looking for, Antiques of Old Wilmington will surely have something you will love. With its prime locale, vast selection, and convenient location, it is the perfect destination for antique fans and looky-loos alike.
Mayfaire is a high-end shopping center located in Wilmington, North Carolina. It boasts over 90 shops, as well as 20 dining options that cater to all types of budgets and palettes. For example, there are affordable chain restaurants like Five Guys, as well as more formal dining experiences like The Melting Pot.
The shopping center also contains boutique-style retailers like Lilly Pulitzer, Chicos, Pottery Barn, and Ulta. In addition to the wide variety of shops, Mayfaire also features a Regal movie theater and convenient amenities like an eye doctor, spa, grocery store, and wax center.
4. Jewelry By Wendy
Their jewelry designs are an outward expression of the owner’s personality. Many of the pieces are one-of-a-kind, timeless works of art. This store has a special affinity for silver, gold, and pearls and carries entire lines of each. All the jewelry is handcrafted, using sterling silver and 14kt gold filled. Earwires and posts are sterling silver; each piece is hand-polished for a perfect finish.
Buying from American artisans and craftspeople is an important way to keep their art and culture alive. Supporting those who make their living through handmade goods and services helps to sustain the population of smaller businesses and artists.
5. Lumina Station
Living in a coastal town has many advantages, one of which is the ability to shop by the beach! Lumina Station, located near Wrightsville Beach, is a unique shopping destination. It is home to several locally owned stores and delicious dining options. Grand Cru Food & Wine is among the many great places to eat at Lumina Station.
There are also lifestyle shops such as Airlie Moon. Lumina Station is even more special as it won Coastal Living magazine’s first-ever award for contextual design. This award is a testament to the beauty of this shopping center.
6. Northrop Antiques Mall
Southport is a coastal town known for its art galleries, antique stores, and vintage shops. One such shop is the Northrop Antiques Mall, located on Howe Street in a historic brick building with an angled rooftop, forest-green storefront, and awning. The mall features roughly 38 dealers and vendors under one roof.
The Northrop Antiques Mall offers a wide range of items and collectibles, including old bottles and glassware, vintage books, artworks and prints, furnishings, glassware, handmade crafts, bath and beauty products, and perishables. With so much to choose from, it’s the perfect destination for shoppers of all tastes. Visitors can expect to find something that suits their style, whether modern or vintage.
7. Cotton Exchange
Downtown Wilmington has a rich history that can be seen in the architecture of The Cotton Exchange. This building reflects the style and feel of the city’s 19th-century port days when they were involved in the cotton trade. The Cotton Exchange is a great place to explore, as it has the highest concentration of unique boutique shops and restaurants in one place. It holds 30 specialty shops and restaurants, from clothing to coffee shops.
After visiting The Cotton Exchange, you can take a short walk to Downtown Wilmington’s Riverwalk and visit additional shops, such as Swahili Coast and Cape Fear Rum Cake. Shopping downtown is a great way to support local businesses while also getting to experience the history of Wilmington.
8. Olde Southport Village Shoppes
Olde Southport Village Shoppes is an idyllic collection of six local stores and services located along Howe Street, just outside the heart of downtown. From the street, the exterior may not be impressive. Still, visitors who explore will find a series of cheerful, connected cottages and storefronts, connected via a brick pathway and shaded porches.
This unique shopping village offers a variety of experiences and goods, featuring a spa, bath, beauty shop, pottery shop, bakery, and gift shop. Guests will be able to find a range of local goods, from honey and jams to handcrafted artworks and pottery. The atmosphere of the Olde Southport Village Shoppes is laid-back and small-town, making it an ideal complement to the historic downtown streets of Southport. As such, it is a must for avid vacationing shoppers.
9. Marina Village
Have you heard about the shopping opportunities at Riverlights? Marina Village is a great spot to explore, located conveniently by the Cape Fear River. You can find a variety of stores here, as well as a number of places to eat. Riverlights will also be introducing the 7Bridge Commercial District in the near future for more shopping options.
Living in Wilmington provides a unique shopping experience with its many options. Whether you need to buy a new item or want to browse, you can do it all conveniently and quickly. Shopping is no longer a chore when you have different centers that make the experience enjoyable.
10. Baker Street Curiosity Shop
Baker Street Curiosity Shop is the perfect place for a unique shopping experience. With over 5000 sq. feet of retail therapy, there is something for everyone. Their diverse group of vendors offers antiques, vintage, mid-century artwork, and many more unusual treasures to discover. New items arrive daily, so you can always find something new!
Their shop has a new room, the Uranium Glass Room, filled with an incredible collection of uranium and Vaseline glass pieces. These pieces react to black light and create a mesmerizing green glow.
They also have many new vendors bringing a fresh vibe to the store. With new inventory arriving all the time, the perfect treasure could be just around the corner! Baker Street Curiosity Shop is located in the same shopping plaza as Ruth’s Kitchen and Bab’s McDance, and we accept credit and debit cards, checks, and cash for your convenience.