When most Torontonians think about a relatively close American shopping destination they’ll think Buffalo, New York or Erie, Pennsylvania. I have never been to Erie so I cannot speak of the shopping but I have been to Buffalo (and surrounding areas that we will lump into one category here). The shopping is okay, they have Target and Anne Taylor and a large outlet mall that is always full of Canadians. My husband and I will pack up the kids every once in a while to go across the border and do some shopping, mostly around back to school time. However, when I want to do some real shopping and push myself to the point of exhaustion I will head over the border to Troy, Michigan and Somerset Collection. Of all the malls I’ve been to (malls in Japan, Chile, Croatia, New Jersey, New York State, Ontario, Chicago, Montreal and Calgary) it is by far my favourite.
As an aside, I am not going to debate if the deals are better etc. in the States. I think they are, NOBODY has a sale like the Americans. You can try and argue with me till you are blue in the face and you will not sway me. When you are heading to the U.S. do your homework on pricing. Unless something is on sale it is usually not cheaper in the U.S. once you factor in currency conversion and duty.
When I tell people that the suburbs of Detroit have some of the best shopping malls and selection they look at me like I’m on crack, yes crack. The suburban areas of Detroit have the headquarters of Chrysler, GM, Ford, K-Mart and Delphi. There are also numerous other companies that manufacture parts for the American big three. Things have been tough but people there are still fighting. Detroit also has a hockey team, basketball team, football team and baseball team. There is money there and there are shopping choices because of this. Troy is beautiful and safe, the biggest complaint about this city is it being “pretentious”. Drive around Troy and you will understand why.
I am lucky because I still have family in Windsor and this gives me easy access to Michigan malls when I am in town and there is nothing better then Somerset. I LOVE Somerset because it is massive and has everything you can want in two seperate buildings attached by a skyway. The glass architecture allows for lots of natural lighting and the wide aisles give way to comfortable seating when you need to take a load off. Some of the stores I drool over and others I shop at. Whenever I need my Anne Taylor fix I get it, when I want to see the latest in Jimmy Choo I head to Saks. New York City has everything that is current, Somerset has more to offer then Yorkdale or even Yorkville. Then there is the service, staff usually go out of their way to help you find what you want. This keeps me coming back.
Sommerset does not have such favourites as Zara (none in Michigan) or H&M so there are some pieces missing but then again they have LOFT, Barney’s, White House Black Market, Urban Outfitters, J Crew, Macy’s, Nordstrom and Nieman Marcus. I could keep going on. There are other malls located close to Somerset so if you need something it is probably a car ride away (except for Zara). The food court is extensive and they have PF Chang’s, Brio and the Capital Grille located in the mall. If none of those appeal to you a quick google search will find something for you appetite. Organizing a girls shopping weekend close by? Please try Sommerset. There are hotels right next to the mall and you can explore more then just Sommerset. This May I will be taking a group of girlfriends to my favourite Troy haunts. I know it won’t disappoint! I have posted some pictures but to see what else is being offered click here http://www.thesomersetcollection.com/.