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With approximately one million items for sale and a huge two-building space that stretches the very long block between Broadway and Seventh Avenue, this, the World’s Largest Store, is also one of New York’s top tourist attractions. It has some of the best prices of the major department stores, and in general, a higher quality of goods than Century 21, though the fashions here are definitely more middle of the road. The basement is devoted to cookware, of which there’s a dazzling variety; the house brand of pots and pans (called Tools of the Trade) may be the best buy, well-made and usually quite inexpensive. And the return policy here is one of the most generous in the city, so mistakes are not irrevocable.

Those are the reasons you should visit. But there are also reasons why you may want to pop a valium before you attempt it. The vast scale of Macy’s and the huge crowds it attracts are its Achilles heel. There’s never a salesperson around when you need one; on sale days the masses can be crushing; and even native New Yorkers get lost here.