- Art Galleries, Locally Made Items & Art Supplies
- Beauty Products
- Bicycles & Bike Repair
- Book Stores & Stationery
- Clothing Stores
- Dive Equipment
- Duty Free
- Electronics, Computers & Cameras
- Food Shopping
- Buying In Bulk
- Garden Centres
- Home goods
- Jewellery & Watch Stores
- Liquor Stores
- Musical Instruments
- Office Supplies
- Party Accessories
- Shoes, sneakers and sandals
- Thrift Shops
The Cayman Islands is quickly becoming one of the shopping meccas in the Caribbean and not just for duty-free items. From the high-end, to surprising bargains and everything in between, a wide range of goods and services can be found locally. Artwork, books, toys, cameras, jewellery, household accessories and furniture, to name a few, can be purchased from an array of shops.
Fashion lovers no longer have to travel abroad to purchase high-end clothing or accessories, as there are stores offering a wide selection of evening dresses, workwear, lingerie, and a phenomenal selection of swim and resort wear. Fashionistas who prefer a bargain should not lose heart; there is recently becoming more shops that offer great choices, at very low prices.
There are a number of shopping centres in Grand Cayman, each offering a different variety of shops. Within George Town, you will find that the stores are aimed towards tourists, specifically those coming off the cruise ships. Many shops and shopping centres in George Town, such as Bayshore Mall, sell jewellery, souvenirs, and beauty products. Along the Seven Mile Beach strip, there are clothing stores, especially those selling swim and resort wear, salons selling beauty products and a few stores selling books, stationary and craft supplies. The majority of the furniture stores are located within or near the Industrial Park, and the major homeware stores are located near or along Eastern Avenue. Camana Bay is full of many shops, from clothing to books, kitchen supplies to shoes. In Savannah the Countryside Shopping Centre houses a Fosters Food Fair-IGA, as well as an A. L. Thompsons and other homeware shops.
While it is important to acknowledge that the prices of some goods are more expensive than in the US, there is often a very valid reason for this. Every item has to be shipped to Cayman whether by air or sea; then, Customs charge duty on (most) items at 20% (to retailers) or 22% (to the general public). This duty is calculated based on the value of the goods, the shipping costs (from origin), as well as the insurance charged. The items are then on display in stores that pay far higher electricity bills than in the US and have to pay high work permit fees for their staff. However, seasonal sales, such as Black Friday, do happen, so make sure to keep an eye out!
Leather goods and cameras are duty-free as well as being free from sales tax. (Editor’s note: in this context, duty-free means the Government has not added any import or customs duty to items when they are imported into Cayman, while tax-free refers to the absence of any form of sales tax in the Islands).
If you have ever been into a large US or Canadian store, Cayman’s grocery stores are very similar. They carry most major US and Canadian brands, as well as USDA certified meats, UK brands such as Waitrose, lots of fresh fish, shellfish and a variety of vegetables and fruit.
Finding organic food, especially vegetables and fruit, is now very easy as Cayman grows a number of organic crops and fresh organic produce is shipped from overseas. Most supermarkets are very accommodating and if you can’t find something that you miss from home, they will usually order it for you. Make sure to save the packaging so they can get the UPC or bar code number.
There are good wholesale stores located on Grand Cayman if you are looking for bulk items such as nappies (pampers), cleaning supplies, toilet paper, paper towels and family-style portions of frozen, canned and dry foods. These stores also sell an array of different items, from appliances and furniture to electronic equipment.
High quality furniture is available from stores like IDG and Dwell while large home centres like A. L. Thompson’s, Cox Lumber, Kirk Home Centre and Uncle Bill’s sell a wide selection of relatively inexpensive furniture. It is even possible to buy quality restored and refurbished furniture.
Specialist children’s and baby furniture can be bought from a number of stores while second hand baby furniture can also be bought in Cayman.
Whether you’re renting or purchasing a home, most houses and condos come fitted with a washer, dryer, fridge and stove. Many also come with a microwave and dishwasher. If you are renting, properties usually come equipped with plates, glasses, cutlery and pots and pans. Linens and towels are less frequently provided.
With elegant stores stocked with luxury designs from Rolex to Bulgari, to small boutiques selling locally crafted pieces, the Cayman Islands is the jewellery Mecca of the Caribbean. While watches, gems and precious metals are not duty-free in Cayman, they can be cheaper than in Europe or the US since the Cayman Islands do not have a sales tax.
Most liquor stores in Grand Cayman are well stocked with top brands plus some carry rare vintages of wine, champagne and port . You can purchase beer and wine by the case at the larger stores, and also count on expert advice on choosing a bottle of good wine from the staff. But you can also buy rum, champagne and vodka etc as well as all the mixers, chasers and non alcoholic beverages from the smaller stores.
For more information and businesses providing office supplies, visit the Office Supplies & Equipment page.
Well known brands of shoes and sandals are available in Cayman, but you just need to know where to look as often these brands can be found at clothing, boating or surf stores. As well as shoe stores we list some of the other locations in Cayman which might just sell what you are looking for.
There is a good selection of thrift shops in Cayman that all sell a variety of nearly new items at competitive prices. They are always in need of donated items in good condition. They will then sell them on and use the proceeds to support various good causes or distribute the items to the needy within the community.
Toys are bulky and better sourced locally, especially as you will constantly be picking up something new for the numerous birthday parties your child will be invited to the minute they start school! There are a handful of local independent specialty stores which carry very thoughtful, good quality and educational toys.
Priced Right and Cost-U-Less carry a variety of toys which change weekly, and occasionally you can find an inexpensive gem.