Alongside skiing and hiking, shopping vies for the title of Banff's most popular sport. Most shops have clerks who speak Japanese and Chinese to serve the large contingent of Asian tourists, and a handful of these stores are actually Japanese-run. There's also a large crowd of young Australians manning the shops, thanks mainly to a diplomatic agreement between the two Commonwealth countries, which offers work visas to people under 30, and to the Aussie desire to live and breathe winter during their Canadian "walkabout."
Banff shopping also offers mountain gear shops in spades; every mall (and there are at least three) has a good-sized outdoor outfitter. There's a glut of places to buy T-shirts and other tourist tchotchkes, but you can also buy a Rolex here or flesh out your collection of Vuittons at exclusive Banff boutiques. It's enthralling enough for some that Banff Avenue is as much of Banff as they ever see. While it's good fun, don't squander all your time here -- there are malls everywhere, but there's only one Banff National Park.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.