The Shopping Mecca
of the Northwest Suburbs
By Jodi Triest
Appropriately dubbed the retail commercial hub of the northwest suburbs, Schaumburg’s annual retail sales are surpassed only by Chicago in the state of Illinois. With over 9.5 million square feet of commercial space, retail sales in the Village total over $3 billion. The largest of these sales generators are automobile dealerships and service stations, general merchandise establishments and apparel stores.
Over 66 shopping centers call Schaumburg home, including Woodfield Mall, Streets of Woodfield, Shops at Schaumburg Court, Prairie Town Center, Schaumburg Corners, Nantucket Square and Schaumburg Towncenter. Within these shopping centers, visitors and local residents will find familiar chain-retailers Target, Jewel-Osco, Barnes & Noble Bookstores, Old Navy, Kohl’s, Marshall’s, and Filene’s Basement among countless others. Many stores are freestanding, such as Best Buy or IKEA, and all provide ample parking — something that is hard to come by in the Loop! Such accessibility allows shoppers an efficient and enjoyable shopping experience.
Almost all of the commercial development in Schaumburg has sprung up around Woodfield Mall, which comprises 2.5 million square feet of indoor, climate-controlled retail space, the third-largest of its kind in the nation. The Village of Schaumburg has plans to increase the amount of retail and commercial space in the community even further. By the year 2020, the projected growth for this sector will have Schaumburg covering 11,700,000 square feet of commercial space.
“Woodfield is the Chicago area’s largest shopping center with nearly 300 stores and restaurants, including dozens that can’t be found anywhere else in the Midwest and all under one roof,” said Woodfield Marketing Specialist Brighid O’Carroll. “Merchants range from the hottest retail concepts to major department stores JCPenney, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Nordstrom and Sears.”
Woodfield Mall opened its doors in 1971 and has since undergone numerous expansion projects. Twenty-seven million people walk through Woodfield’s doors each year, making it Illinois’ top tourist attraction. Additionally, Woodfield employs 4,000 residents year-round and almost twice that number during the holiday season.
The free Schaumburg Woodfield Trolley shuttles shoppers between various Woodfield area retail centers. Stops include IKEA, Costco, Marshalls, Borders, Dicks Sporting Goods, Carson Pirie Scott, Loews Theaters, and of course, Woodfield Mall.
Walter E. Smithe, which specializes in custom-designed furniture, is a northwest suburban Chicago original and maintains a location in Schaumburg, as do other well-recognized furniture retailers. IKEA, the Swedish home-interior concept store, houses affordable, trendy and unique home furnishings in its signature royal blue and gold-colored building which can clearly be seen from the expressway and neighboring Schaumburg businesses.
All kinds of treasures are available at Schaumburg jewelers. Rainbow Design Jewelers is a one-of-a-kind, family owned and operated jewelry store that calls Schaumburg home and offers the finest jewelry and custom pieces from around the world. Jewelry specialists help customers find pieces that are a perfect match to the client’s taste and style.
At Wyatt Austin Jewelers, cutting-edge technology such as laser welding is employed to help create exquisite pieces or perform repairs when conventional methods might otherwise damage jewelry.
Indulge your sweet tooth at local bakeries and confectionaries such as Chicago original Fannie Mae. Shops like Sweets & More and Fruit of the Vine Creations offer tasty chocolate treats in cozy, coffee shop-like atmospheres.
Simply put, the list of retailers goes on and on. There are stores for art lovers, pet lovers, music lovers and book lovers; stores for brides, stores for kids and stores for crafters; stores for sports fans and workout enthusiasts; boutiques selling sweets and culinary specialty stores such as WineStyles offering specialty gourmet foods and beverages to food and wine enthusiasts.