Shopping in Salem is a bit of a step back in time- a city devoid of modern malls. In the late 20th Century, that absence certainly had an adverse effect on the retail trade here; but more recently, with big chains and franchises losing much of their appeal, there has been a marked resurgence in Salem's Downtown which consists primarily of small, independently-owned shops and businesses. 

There are a few occult, witch and supernaturally-themed stores because Halloween is somewhat of a year-round industry and there is actually a small "Wiccan" population. For example, Pyramid Books offers books on magic, spells, candles, incense, tarot cards, etc.,, plus there's Crow Haven Corner near Salem Common, next to Remember Salem Gifts, and even a shop operated by Salem's "official" witch, Laurie Cabot, at Pickering Wharf. 

However, there is much more to the city than just Halloween and witches. There are numerous other shops- plus four restaurants- at Pickering Wharf including long-time Salem institution, Peter Barter's, for flowers and unique items including the "Williamsburg (as in Virginia) Collection". You may not be in need of a drink, but you'll certainly get a chuckle from the name of the "package store" across from Barter's- "Bunghole" Liquors. A small cluster, including a Park Ranger-operated "historic" shop, also lies along Derby St. on the way to the House of Seven Gables.

"Back" towards the downtown area, The Derby Lofts development at the corner of Lafayette and Derby Sts. offers "independent" A & J King Bakery and several other boutiques. A similar residential/ retail complex is under construction nearby at Derby and Washington Sts. Several lovely shops should not be missed on Front Street and the "Old Town Hall" area. In addition to a number of restauraunts along Washington, cigar afficionados should head to Red Lion Smoke Shop, across from City Hall, for one of the best selections north of Boston. There are also gift shops before and after the Essex Pedestrian Walkway (on Washington). Turning East along the not-really-a-mall, you'll find Pamplemousse,, a gourmet/kitchen, home and bath store with a wonderful selection of fine wines, unique gifts and gadgets; plus the Peabody-Essex Museum "gift" shop. 

A little further down from Pamplemousse on the left across from Samantha's Costume you will find Bewitched in Salem, eclectic shop offering a most unique experience!  You could spend an hour in this place and not catch it all.  An interesting blend of new merchandise and Antiques.   Jewelry, Gifts, One of Salem's most gifted Psychics for Tarot and Crystal ball Readings & Daytime and Nighttime Walking Tours.  They also feature the  largest collection of Ouija Boards and Quartz Crystals in Salem!

 If you keep following Essex St. to #203 you'll find The Broom Closet, Salem's largest shop for Witch's and others. Handmade brooms, herbs and supplies, incence, books and tarot. Broom Closet also offers Readings done by Rev. Lady June and Rev. Rick Watson.

Another great walking tour company in Salem is where 100% historical accuracy to the Witch Trials of 1692 is paramount.

If you are hungry?,oOne can even buy Polish groceries, candy and more at Polonus, a European-style deli at the Museum Place Mall- again, in name only- on the Pedestrian Walkway. (Really- they're not malls! Someone should do something about those names.)  

The (not-called-a-mall) stretch of Essex Street, extending West from Washington toward the Witch House, includes a great old-style Army/Navy store; Laura Lanes' Skin Care & Spa,; Harrison's for comics, amusements and more; a high-quality pet food, gifts and supplies shop called The Barking Cat,; The Game Zone for video and gaming enthusiasts and there will be three new stores, including a "boutique" furniture store in Spring 2008 in the former Tompkins Building as well as a pretty decent "consignment" store in the former Jerry's Army/Navy diagonally opposite the Witch House.

Also worth mentioning are two candy excellent stores: Maria's Sweet Somethings (on the aforementioned Front St.) and the oldest candy shop in America, Ye Olde Pepper Company,, located near the House of Seven Gables. It would be innaccurate to limit a discussion of shopping in Salem by saying "that's it"; there are certainly notable establishments in other sections of the city. However, for tourists (this IS TA), the most "walkable" areas of Salem have been outlined here. It's a city best enjoyed on foot- find a parking spot (if you can) or garage (the wisest choice) and enjoy a place that pre-dates the automobile by nearly 300 years. .