The Coolest Fictional Shopping Destinations



Thanks to the wonders of modern technology and the one-touch purchasing culture brought about by sites like Amazon, these days it’s possible to get your fix of retail therapy without even leaving the comfort of your own home. At just the click of a button, you can conjure up almost anything into your possession… almost anything.

Though internet retail does inject a great deal of convenience into the shopping experience, there are a few shopping locales which are only accessible through the power of imagination. Books, TV and cinema have helped to create an irresistible world of stores and boutiques which unfortunately don’t exist in real life… but we sure wish they did. Here are our pick of the bunch.

Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

Even if you haven’t seen this film starring Dustin Hoffman, Jason Bateman and Natalie Portman, the name of the store alone should give you a good idea of the rich treasures inside. A kid’s paradise, where any toy can be magicked into existence merely by writing its name into a ledger, the Emporium should be top of the pile for any fictional store wish list.


There are a huge number of other attractive options on offer in The Simpsons, but none of them quite fit the bill: the Kwik-E-Mart is too susceptible to gunpoint hold-ups, Costingtons is a bit too pricey and SeƱor Ding Dong’s Doorbell Fiesta is a little on the loud side. Why on Earth the Leftorium doesn’t actually exist in real life, however, beggars belief. Let’s hear it for the lefties! And just The Simpsons merchandise in general.

Diagon Alley

Leaving behind stores which end in –rium, Diagon Alley is home to some of the most enchanting boutiques ever dreamt up by man or beast. And better yet, you can actually wander down the famous side by visiting Warner Brothers Studio Tour, where you can duck into such famous locales as Olivander’s Wand Shop, Flourish and Blott’s, Quality Quidditch Supplies and Weasley’s Wizardly Wheezes. Expecto receiptum!

Black Books

Despite the ill-tempered proprietor, shambolic layout and non-existent filing system, Black Books would still be a great place to while away an afternoon – or, if the wine begins flowing, an evening, night and next morning. Though miscellaneous books don’t make the best of pillows, Bernard’s biting wit and searing disdain for the entire human race is nothing if not reassuring, while there’s always The Little Book of Calm (it’s actually real) to quieten your qualms when things get tough.

While you’re in the area, you could always pick up a present or two for upcoming birthdays in neighbouring Nifty Gifty.

Empire Records

It was pretty much a straight choice between Empire Records and Championship Vinyl (from High Fidelity) for most desired fictional record store on the list. While the latter does have a better soundtrack and unrivalled singing credentials from Jack Black, its overwhelming snobbery puts it narrowly behind Empire in the preference stakes. That, and the youth and attractiveness of pretty much its entire staff.

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  1. I love High Fedelity, Jack Black is brilliant in it and so is John Cusack

  2. Empire Records are the bomb! I love a good nose at the classics!


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