80 Years of Holiday Shopping in New York

Holiday shopping over the past 80 years as chronicled in photos from The New York Times archives.,

Toyland in Manhattan in 1955.Credit…The New York Times

Scenes From 80 Years of Holiday Shopping in New York

Toyland in Manhattan in 1955.Credit…The New York Times

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We’ll be crowding more and clicking less, carrying more shopping bags and waiting for fewer deliveries.

This holiday shopping season is shaping up to be more in-person than last year’s, but it isn’t likely to be as carefree as in the Before Times. Abbreviated store hours, product shortages, Covid restrictions and safety concerns are expected to make for a holiday shopping experience unlike any in the 80 or so years chronicled in these photos from the New York Times archives.

Still, these pandemic-era challenges don’t seem to be stopping us from spending this season: The National Retail Federation predicts that holiday retail sales this year will set a record. Americans are expected to dole out between $843 billion and $859 billion in November and December, as much as 10.5 percent more than in 2020.

— Roe D’Angelo

1940

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The week before Christmas, Manhattan.Credit…The New York Times

1948

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Macy’s in Brooklyn.Credit…The New York Times

1957

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Gimbels in Manhattan.Credit…Eddie Hausner/The New York Times

1961

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Abraham & Straus in Brooklyn.Credit…John Orris/The New York Times

1964

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Lord & Taylor on Fifth Avenue.Credit…Eddie Hausner/The New York Times

1966

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At Macy’s.Credit…Eddie Hausner/The New York Times

1971

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Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, N.Y.Credit…Robert Walker/The New York Times

1978

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The Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City, N.Y.Credit…Lou Manna/The New York Times

1983

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Saks Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.Credit…Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

1989

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B. Altman and Company in Manhattan.Credit…Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

1991

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The Galleria mall in White Plains, N.Y.Credit…Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times

1992

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Herald Square in Manhattan.Credit…Lee Romero/The New York Times

1994

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Roosevelt Field in Garden City.Credit…Vic Delucia/The New York Times

2006

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The Palisades Center mall in West Nyack, N.Y.Credit…Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

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