For high-end clothing or accessories, fashion lovers no longer have to travel abroad as there are stores offering a wide selection of upscale items, especially in the swim and resort wear ranges. Fashionistas who prefer a bargain should not be disheartened, as recently more shops have opened that offer great choices at relatively low prices. Seasonal sales, such as Black Friday, also happen on-Island, so make sure to keep an eye out!
There are a number of shopping centres in Grand Cayman, each offering an extensive variety of shops to choose from. In the central George Town area, many of the stores are aimed at tourists, specifically those coming off the cruise ships. Shops and shopping centres in this area, such as Bayshore Mall and Island Plaza, sell jewellery, art work, souvenirs and beauty products.
Along the Seven Mile Beach strip you will mainly find clothing stores, especially those selling swim and resort wear, salons and a few stores selling books, stationery and craft supplies. The majority of the furniture stores are located within or near Industrial Park, and the major homeware stores are located in the vicinity of Eastern Avenue. Camana Bay is full of shops, from clothing and books to kitchen supplies and shoes. In Savannah, the Countryside Shopping Centre houses a Foster’s supermarket, an A. L. Thompson’s and other shops from healthcare to salons.
While the prices of some goods are more expensive than in the US, there is often a very valid reason for this. Every item sold in Cayman has to be imported either 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, as well as the insurance charged. The items are then displayed in stores that pay higher electricity bills than the US and some also have to pay work permit fees.
Also note that many online retailers may not ship to Cayman and if they do, shipping costs will be high, therefore it is a good idea to consider using a freight forwarder who will provide you with an address in the US and will then forward the package to Cayman. Many of the freight forwards in the Moving to Cayman chapter can help to ship your packages, but Sta-Mar provides great rates for even the smallest of packages.
Please keep in mind that some items cannot be imported into Cayman due to certain laws. For example, all items that depict the cannabis plant are prohibited from entering the Island. However, de-hulled hemp seeds can be bought at Kirk Market because they do not depict cannabis leaf imagery.
See the Shipping to Cayman page for other considerations and companies that offer freight forwarding.