20 Interesting Retail Shops You Never Knew Existed
1. Zombie Apocalypse Store (Las Vegas)
The Las Vegas-based store sells everything from survival blankets to children’s books to educate the little ones about potential zombie attacks. To them, “zombies” can be a metaphor for many things: earthquakes, terrorists, the Government, or “anything that you think you and your family should prepare yourselves for- or against.” Intense.
2. Mr. Throwback (New York)
Mr. Throwback sells vintage sportswear, sneakers, starter jackets, NBA champion jerseys, snapbacks, toys, and video games that scream nostalgia! Born out of the Hell’s Kitchen flea market in 2011, it has now become so successful that it opened up a store in Manhattan. What makes Mr. Throwback even more awesome? They use Bindo’s POS *wink*
3. My Man Cave Store (Myrtle Beach)
A wife’s worst nightmare but a husband’s best friend, this store has all the tools you need to build your man cave. Whether you men mentally escape the real world by chugging beer or by listening to rock or by watching football, this South Carolina-based store has got you covered. Just make sure you treat your wife to the spa after she finds out you’ve bought a giant pool table.
4. The Time Travel Mart (Los Angeles)
Next time you travel back in time, you might want to buy some time travel sickness pills. Luckily, you can find them at The Time Travel Mart. While you’re there, why not pick up some robot milk or dinosaur eggs? With 2 locations in Los Angeles, this store will definitely be your go-to place the next time you run out of mammoth chunks.
5. DapperCadaver (Sun Valley)
Ever want to buy the props you see in Pirates of the Carribbean or Breaking Bad? Just visit DapperCadaver and you can! Whether you need a sheep’s brain for a psychology teacher or more burnt bones to add to your skeletal collection, this store has it all. If it’s good enough for Lady Gaga or Ke$a (just some of the musicians they work with), it should be good enough for you.
6. Wall Drug Store (South Dakota)
When you’re driving through South Dakota, you’ll have to stop by the Wall Drug. Founded during the depression, the store is not just a drug store, but an experience, says customers: There’s a chapel, a fudge store, southwestern art pieces, postcards, boots, and a huge selection of Christmas cards. And yes, they do fill prescriptions.
7. NicNacs4Peanuts (Philadelphia)
Just the name of The store instantly grabs your attention. Having named her store after her two daughters, NicNac and Peanuts (yes, they’re nicknames), the storeowner sells eclectic, vintage products that you can’t find anywhere else (see the Marijuana, billions stoned sign up there?). Next time you want a unique gift, you’ll know where to go (if you’re in Philly).
8. Gamblers General Store (Las Vegas)
Gambling addicts beware! The Gambler’s General Store has over 15,000 gambling products and can manufacture personalized custom chips for you, just like it did for The Soprano’s, Ocean’s 11, and Rush Hour 2. But gambling for them doesn’t just stop with cards, the Gambler’s General Store even has books on horseracing, sports betting, and bingo. Talk about a gambler’s dream come true!
9. American Science & Surplus (Milwaukee, Chicago, & Geneva)
This store’s range of eclectic products, many with a scientific or educational edge, is surely for those who are fascinated by discovery and invention- or for those who just love DIY projects. American Science & Surplus, which seems to attract both the young and old, is more than a store, says customers, it’s a total experience. They often end up spending hours in there.
10. San Francisco Sock Market (San Francisco)
Made for financiers of the fashion world, The Sock Market mirrors “the stock market,” offering “Blue Chip” socks to the well-established businessmen and “Penny Socks” for the kids who have “tremendous growth potential.” The website boasts 3 “sock markets” that you should check out: The San Francisco Sock Market, The Las Vegas Sock Market, and The Los Angeles Sock Market.
11. Alternate Reality Comics (Las Vegas)
The reviews had me sold at Ralph. He’s the owner of the store who has been described as “nothing but nice and helpful.” Another store run by a husband-wife duo, Alternate Reality Comics not only has a wide variety of comics, but plush toys and paintings from local artists. Still, I definitely want to meet Ralph.
12. Requiem Oddities (New Orleans)
If you like surrounding yourself with animal taxidermies and skeletal jewelry, you’ll find yourself spending hours upon hours in Requiem Oddities. Not to mention, this “morbid curiosity shop” has one of the kindest (and coolest!) storeowners you’ll ever meet, according to customers. Ask about her history, they say.
13. Rainbow Feathers Co. (Las Vegas)
Anyone a fan of feathers? If so, you’ll definitely want to visit Rainbow Feathers in Vegas. They’ve got every single kind of feather you can think of in every single color you can think of…for any kind of purpose you can think of.
Via Clay H. from yelp.com
14. The Freemans Sporting Club
Functional and long lasting garments are not the only reason why we love Freemans Sporting Club, or F.S.C., we also love them because they too chant the mantra, “Made Local, Buy Local.” They support what is in the essence of this whole #ShopLocal trend: handmade goods with quality and durability made by skilled artisans. Oh, and they’re also a barber shop. Neat.
15. Wacko Soap Plant (Los Angeles)
Don’t let this store’s name fool you. Wacko Soap Plant doesn’t just sell wacky soaps. The LA-based store sells books, ceramics, unique jewelry, and leather jackets worn by people like Elton John and sponsored by fashion brands like Levi Strauss. With inventory of over 2 million items, you’ll probably end up spending a lot of time in this store. It looks like Paris Hilton definitely has.
16. Woolly Mammoth Antiques & Oddities (Chicago)
Another oddities store, Woolly Mammoth Antiques & Oddities focuses on animal themed-ephemera, taxidermy, medical devices, funeral objects, circus products, and art made by the owners. They even have classes like “How To Skin a Bird” so that you can make your own taxidermy and cool videos like this, showing wacky devices that can cure baldness and arthritis.
17. Eyes Gallery (Philadelphia)
The background of the Eyes Gallery is almost as cool as the actual store. Having completed a 3 year stint with the Peace Corps working as Art Advisors to the Ayamara and Inca people of the Andes mountains of Peru, this husband-wife duo opened Eyes Gallery and sells the coolest vintage and folk art you’ll find in town.
18. Farmacia Y Botancia Million Dollar (Los Angeles)
What happens when you want someone to fall in love with you but it just seems impossible? Buy love potion, obviously! You’ll find them at Farmacia Y Botanica Million Dollar, along with bath oil that quells gossip and medallions to protect children.
19. Bonanza Gifts
If you’re going to open the world’s largest gift shop, it should definitely be in Vegas, baby! This store has over 40,000 square feet of shopping, selling virtually any “gift-shop product” you can think of. But as the storeowners themselves say, this ain’t just your daddy’s old t-shirt and postcard store!
20. The Thing (New York)
If you’re obsessed with digging through crates for old records and being overwhelmed with that feeling of nostalgia every time you come across an unexpected oldie, you have to come here. They even have “Diggin’ for Dummies” notes telling you how to dig through crates correctly. The Thing has thousands, maybe millions, of records- some going for only $2.
Know of other quirky stores to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!
Stephanie Man contributed to this post.