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English Language Institute Blog

3 Fun Places to Shop for Bargains in Lower Manhattan

places to shop lower manhattan pace plaza students laughing

Studying English at a university in New York is exciting.

Your intensive English classes are filled with opportunities to learn new language, make new friends, experience American culture and enjoy everything an American university has to offer. As an ESL student, you study hard and take every chance to join after-school activities to improve your fluency. You see progress in your English but sometimes you need a break. We all have different approaches to relaxing but one of my favorite ways is to go shopping.

Pace University’s English Language Institute is perfectly situated in Lower Manhattan around some of the best shopping in the city. Over the past few years, with the completion of the Freedom Tower and Oculus, the Financial District, or FIDI for short, underwent a renaissance bringing popular shops like H&M and delicious restaurants like Shake Shack to the area.

While the revitalization of Lower Manhattan is wonderful, the budget-friendly shops mentioned in this blog have been a staple in the neighborhood for many years. You can find exciting deals on everything from apparel to electronics, health and beauty, housewares, linens, gourmet food and much more. I am sure you can agree that there is nothing like finding that perfect outfit for half its original price.

I would like to share 3 fun places to bargain shop in Lower Manhattan, all in walking distance to the ELI at Pace University. Let’s begin our treasure hunt.


#1 T.J Maxx

places to shop lower manhattan tjmaxx

We start at T.J Maxx, an international retailer known for its high-end designer fashion and brand names.

There are hundreds of stores, some several storeys high, but the Lower Manhattan location at 14 Wall Street can be easily missed in its basement space on this iconic street. The advantage of this T.J Maxx is its proximity to the financial district.

They typically carry brands not seen in other locations. You can decorate your Pace dorm room from their home décor department or unearth comfortable walking shoes for touring New York City. You have to go often since new styles arrive all the time. You never know what you’ll discover next. There is so much to see and so little time.

Let’s move to our next shopping hot spot.


#2 Century 21

places to shop lower manhattan oculus

Century 21’s Lower Manhattan flagship location, at 22 Cortlandt Street touts 7 floors and 220,000 square feet of gorgeous high-end everything.

The NYC retail icon set up shop in downtown Manhattan in 1961 and opened other locations throughout the tristate area but the FIDI location is the most popular with tourists and locals alike. This is the place to come for the perfect outfit for a fancy night out in New York City or to surprise your family with special gifts when you return home after completing your English courses in NYC. Your mother will be so happy to receive a beautiful Michael Kors handbag and you will be thrilled that it didn’t break the bank to buy it for her. Don’t worry; the price will be our little secret.

Another secret is to check out their clearance racks for even bigger discounts. Ladies, Century 21 also showcases all of the best makeup and beauty brands. They are not discounted but you can’t beat the convenience. Go after your ELI classes to get a makeover and try the latest colors.

Final bit of advice: Go early in the morning or late in the evening when it is not busy.


#3 Lot-Less Closeouts

places to shop lower manhattan lotless

Now, let’s visit a store whose motto is “It’s not just shopping, it’s an addiction!” And believe me, it is an addiction.

The savings are absolutely amazing at this closeout retailer. I often visit the Fulton Street location but they have several around Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and one in New Jersey, all areas where many Pace ELI students live. During my last shopping trip, I went with $40 and left with 2 pairs of jeans, 3 sweaters, batteries, slippers, bed sheets and a snack. One sweater cost me $1.99. How could you go wrong!

Lot-Less is the perfect place to buy your school supplies while studying English in New York. They have all you need from notebooks to pencils to digital needs. They say that a true Lot-Less customer knows when you see it, you buy it for tomorrow it might not be there, but don’t worry, everyday new merchandise arrives for more fun and unique bargain hunting.


I hope you enjoyed our hunt for the bargain in Lower Manhattan!

Come to Pace University, English Language Institute for a fabulous study and shopping experience. You won’t regret studying at the best English language program in NYC.

You can visit the ELI website, contact the ELI or apply here.


Word List:

  • need a break (phrasal v.): take time to rest or relax after working hard
  • underwent a renaissance (v phrase): experienced a renewal or recovery
  • staple (adj): constant, essential
  • apparel (n): clothing
  • treasure hunt (n): looking for something valuable
  • high-end designer (n): expensive or famous like Gucci, Prada
  • storeys (n. pl.): floors in a building
  • basement (n): a floor below ground in a building or house usually used for storage
  • iconic street (n): famous street
  • proximity (n): distance, closeness
  • to unearth (v): to discover or find
  • to tout (v): to brag, advertise
  • FiDi (n): the financial district in New York City
  • to break the bank (v phrase): to spend too much money
  • clearance racks (n): area in a store where items are discounted
  • addiction (n): habit, obsession
  • unique (n): special

WRITTEN BY LISA KRAFT