Seattle may not be the first city that comes to mind for shopping meccas. However, there are some special characteristics that give shopping in the city its own flavor. Seattle shops are largely independently run businesses. In fact, it can be hard to find outlets of bigger chains in many of the city’s neighborhoods. Many Seattleites are quite pleased with this feature of their shopping options because it helps locally owned businesses thrive in the city. From clothing boutiques in Queen Anne, to record shops in Ballard, there are many small, owner-operated businesses throughout Seattle. Seattle is not completely devoid of the recognizable names that people trust for retail purchases, though. Shopping malls in the city include the downtown Westlake Center, the Northgate Mall in Shoreline, University Village in the U-District, Westfield Southcenter in Renton, and Costco in SODO. These malls all contain recognizable retailers and some have diversions other than shopping, such as quality restaurants and movie theatres. For an original Seattle mall, the Georgetown Trailer Park mall in Georgetown is worth a visit. It’s comprised of independently-owned shops operating out of trailers. When it comes to Seattle shopping, there really are a wide variety of options to meet consumers varying tastes. Being an active city, Seattle has a legion of outdoor sports stores. The city is home to the headquarters of outdoor sporting goods giant REI and the company has a giant retail outlet in Belltown that includes a climbing wall. A few other growing names in the outdoor sporting goods industry call Seattle home as well, such as evo, producers of ski, snowboard, wakeboard, and skate equipment and clothing. Whether Seattleites are out for fashion, outdoor sports gear, or basic needs, retailers in the city have them covered.