Shops In St. Thomas
We have found that shopping in St. Thomas has it’s layers and like anything setting expectations sets you up for success! So we are going to talk about the tiers of shopping in the islands, St. Thomas specifically, where to find what you’re looking for and how to shop efficiently.
St. Thomas Shopping, Tier 1:
Anywhere you live and no matter how you live you will have a day that your to-do list consists of “running errands.” This goes for island life too and St. Thomas is the place to go to check off much of your to- do list whether you are a local or a tourist. St. Thomas hosts the island’s “box stores” such as K Mart, Home Max, Home Depot, Walgreens, Advance Auto and Price Smart.
Kmart in the islands: Where you go for everything. It may be your last stop if you are stateside and hitting a general merchandise store but here in the Virgin Islands it is the closest thing we have to a one stop shop. It is a great place to go for odds and ends; bed pillows, shampoo, a tv and/or a Christmas Tree. It provides a lot of convenient comforts however the comforts are not competitive with a stateside big box store (ie. higher prices and lack of specific options.) There are 2 Kmarts on St. Thomas one located at Tutu Mall and one located more centrally near down town or Yacht Haven Grand.
Home Depot in the islands: Home Depot looks and feels a lot like any other Home Depot even if the ride there is across a beautiful US Virgin Island. Home Depot has many of your home improvement needs such as raw materials, appliances, tools, plants, paint and other products for basic builds. The differences we have found between a stateside Home Depot and our on island Home Depot are: The options are limited and appliances can not be shipped to store for free, stateside Home Depot Sales are not honored, re-stock times or ship to store can take several weeks. Regardless of island time, we are grateful for Home Depot!
St. Thomas Shopping, Tier 2:
Office Max, Walgreens and Advance Auto:
Along with Tutu Mall’s Kmart, These 3 can be be found in a triangle formation right near Tutu mall. We are considering these Tier 2 as they are more specific. You may have checked off the majority of your list at Kmart and Home Depot but maybe you need a pack of printer paper, a new rear view mirror and a few pictures to print. The location of these 3 recognizable stores makes for a mostly-convenient check list. As with anything here in the islands, expect the unexpected. Setting your expectations before walking into Advance Auto is important especially if your vehicle is on it’s last leg as many island cars are. The website is often lacking current information and will read “available in store” when it may not actually be. Advance Auto DOES ship and from personal experience they are easy to work with.
(side note: Rock Auto ships to the Virgin Islands and has very competitive pricing and ship times)
Walgreens seems like a beautiful and refreshing mecca here in the islands. You can have a prescription filled, print photos, pick up inexpensive potato chips and most of your hygiene favorites. They even honor your Walgreens card for points which add up quickly when you find all of those things you didn’t know you needed!
(side note: There are several places to fill a prescription including the famous and charming neighborhood drug store, Chelsea, with locations in both Redhook and Cruz Bay.)
St. Thomas Shopping, Tier 3: FOOD
We mentioned Price Smart earlier which has many things from appliances and outdoor furniture to tires and booze. In between all of those wonderful necessities is your Costco-like food shopping! This might be our favorite stop when we are running errands as we can stock up on 10 lbs of cheese, a few cases of La Croix and every snack that our charter guests desire! Price Smart offers great prices, fresh(er) produce and plenty of stock! They do require a membership which can be applied for and purchased at the front desk as you walk in. They have a snack area that offers pizza, chicken and soft drinks if you need to refuel with some comfort food. There are several other smaller food markets in St. Thomas that may be best for a weekly shopping list including: Moe’s Market, Plaza Extra, The Fruit Bowl and Food Center.
St. Thomas Shopping, Tier 4: Retail
There are several options and many different price points for shopping retail in St. Thomas. Yacht Haven Grande located centrally on island and right next to Haven Site cruise port. Yacht Haven Grande has many stores to choose from with gated parking, a coffee shop and restaurant options for waterfront dining. Downtown, water front Charlotte Amalie, has several jewelry stores, surf shops and make up counters at AH Rise Mall along with local art and even a Tiffany’s. We highly recommend checking the cruise schedule as this is a popular destination for cruise guests causing significant crowds. Staying on the East End? Check out Caribbean Surf Co. located in Redhook next to Chelsea Drug Store.
Tier 5: Souvenirs
Shopping for Souvenirs in St. Thomas is a must! You can find many unique souvenirs down town near waterfront at the open air market. You can also pick up a handful of take-homes at Chelsea Drug Store! We highly recommend a local hot sauce, spice, tea or bottle of rum– we have yet to find a family member or friend who has turned down local rum! St. John is a quick ferry ride away and also has many hand crafted souvenirs, jewelry and clothing in Mongoose Junction, Wharf side Village and the town’s center open air park.
If you have any questions or would like some help structuring your day of shopping in St. Thomas please give us a shout!