The shopping landscape in Portland has changed significantly in recent years, perhaps not quite as dramatically as the much-buzzed-about culinary scene, but in similar (pardon the pun) fashion. Specifically, those same hip and indie-spirited neighborhoods around the city that have become hot spots for food and drink—areas like the Pearl District, downtown West End, Alberta, North Mississippi, and Central East Side—are also enjoying a steady influx of distinctive, well-curated boutiques specializing in edgy fashion and jewelry, handcrafted home accessories and household goods, and artisanal foods.
The city’s longstanding shopping hubs, including the downtown core, Nob Hill, and the Hawthorne District continue to support a number of both established and up-and-coming retailers, too. Generally speaking, you’ll find more of Portland’s nationally known chain stores in these traditional commercial districts, especially around downtown’s Pioneer Courthouse Square, the Pearl District (particularly the lower half of the neighborhood, nearest Burnside Street), and along the lower blocks of Nob Hill’s N.W. 23rd Avenue. Additionally, on the East Side, the prosaic but convenient Lloyd Center Mall and surrounding neighborhood has plenty of chain stores.
Keep in mind that Portland has no sales tax, which can translate to huge savings for visitors; it’s one reason you might even plan to set aside some time browsing in chain shops that you already have back home.
Downtown Portland merchants are generally open Monday–Saturday between 9 or 10 am and 6 pm, and on Sunday noon–6. Smaller, independent retailers often keep limited or somewhat unpredictable hours—many establishments in the laid-back and quirky East Side neighborhoods don’t open until 11 or noon, and some stay open until 7 or 8; these sorts of places also sometimes close one or two days a week, usually either Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday. It’s always best to call first before making a special trip to visit a shop.