I went to Providenciales this last november 2010. I found that there are a few places to shop: I bought gifts at Mar Azul Bazaar, Ports of Call; two books at Unicorn Bookstore, a ring at Jais, my food and snacks at IGA, oh... let's not forget the wine . It was a great shopping experience. Everyone is very nice and helpful and you can really find local handmade gifts. I loved the islands!!!!
What to buy: you can find anything from bread to expensive jewelry,and unique gifts.
What to pay: $5 to $$$$
Graceway Gourmet is walking distance from popular hotels such as Ocean Club, 7 stars, Grace Bay Suites and other hotels in this area. It is a really clean and nicely designed shop with great selection of fresh produce as well as dry and frozen foods. They also have a deli with food you can eat for a quick lunch and a little attached cafe that serves breakfast pastries and coffee/cappucino choices. they also have a little shop that sells tobacco and they have a nice wine and beer selection.
The other store is right off the main highway and it is an IGA. Its a little bigger and has more supply type stuff such as goods for storage, supplies etc..
What to pay: Some things are ridiculously expensive like $5 for a loaf of bread but then you can find good deals on fruit/fresh food.
Jais is a jewelry store located on the Beaches Resort Property. Like most places on resort properties their prices are high. They did have a nice selection of jewelry and watches but definitley at more money than it's worth. We just browsed this shop.
The Boutique was located in the Italian Village section of Beaches resort. They carries womens and men's clothing, shoes,swimwear, coverups and accesories. The clothing and accesories were very nice but pricey.
We saw several items for Liz but their size variety wasn't good; they only had medium, large and extra large. The medium dresses were huge on her so they went back on the rack. It was a dissapointment since their merchandise was very nice. The sales girl was nice enough to check in the back to see if there was any more dresses but to no avail.
Island Tresure is one of the shops on the resort. The shop has four large departments: a men's department, women's department, kids section and souvenir/market. The men's section had a variety of clothing, shoes, bathingsuits and hats. The women's section had clothing, bathingsuits, bags, hats and a large display of Havianas. The children's sections had clothing, swimwear, toys, shoes and inflatable swim toys. The souvenir/market section had a nice variety of magnets, postcards, photo albums, shot glasses,Christmas Ornaments, medical supplies, tolitries and sun block.
What to buy: I bought a large brimmed straw hat. After the first day in the sun; Liz suggested I get a hat to protect my head and face. The shop had a large selection of hats and after trying them on we decided on one for me. The hat was rasonably priced at $50 and saved me alot of pain from a potential sun burn.
The shop had a a nice selction of Christmas Ornaments. Liz bought two ornaments(one for us and one for my Mother in Law) that were large white glass balls athat were handpainted with a beach scene of Turks and Caicos.
What to pay: The hat was $50. The ornaments were $34 each.
The Italian Village Shop of the resort was a large store full of souvenirs, clothing, tolietries and beach items. The shop had a large selection of inflatable pool toys, sand toys and flotation devices for kids. They also sold those swimmer pants to put of kid's diapers which is a requirement at the resort to avoid any accidents. The women's section had sun dresses, hats, beach coverups, tee shirts, shirts, bathingsuits, jewelry and a large wall of Havianas. The kids section had swimwear, clothing, shoes and hats. The men's section had clothing, shoes, hats and swimwear. There was a large selection of souveirs such as photo albums, picture frames, glasses, stuffed animals, etc. The store also carried books, sun screen and medical products.
What to buy: We bought shot glasses for my brother in law and his girlfriend with a pirate theme. The shot glasses were $8.99 each and rather large. We bought hats for our fathers and one for me. The hats were blue with a Turks & Caicos Logo for $32 each. I bought a pair of shorts that I was eyeing that wer khaki in color and very nicely made for $45. Liz talked me into a tee shirts I had been looking at with a Pirate theme. The tee shirt was $28. We also bought a waterproff beach bag for $15.
Diamond's International is a chain of Jewelry stores scattered throughout the Caribbean, Florida and Mexico. They carry gold, diamonds, genstones, perls, watches and silver jewelry. We are familiar with the company and have visited their locations in St. Thomas, Nassau and St. Maarten. I don't find any of their jewelry a bargain. I know my prices and their is always too high.
Turquoise Duty Free Shop carries a large variety of Liquor as well as tobacco products. I knew what I was looking for before I entered the shop; Johnnie Walker Blue(my favorite). I found the one liter of Johnnie Walker for $140. It's not a bad price so I decided to purchase the bottle. They pack the bottle in a cardboard handled carrying case for transport which makes it easy to carry aboard the plane.
What to buy: ANy liquor you could want or any cigar.
What to pay: Affordable. 1 liter of JW Blue was $140
Twice a week local vendors set up a market at Treasure beach. They had various tents of local crafts, clothing, souvenirs and conch shells. Liz was on a mission to bring back a Conch shell for her friend Sandrea who requested one before we left. One of the vendors had a nice selections of conch shells and other seashells. After some haggling (I let Liz do that; I just can't do it); Liz walked away with three large conch shells for $20. So essentially she talked the guy into a free shell since he had originally given her a price of $10 for each shell.
What to buy: Souvenirs, shells, clothings, local crafts
Turks and Caicos Islands are mostly exempt of taxes of any kind. Thus, there are plenty of duty free shops selling jewelry, fragrances, sunglasses and other similar stuff. We visited Jai's on Regent Village, a new and upscale shopping center in Grace Bay area on Providenciales.
The big and airy shop was empty except the clerks. Maybe it was due to low season, but I cannot really fathom how they run their business to keep profitable. The amount of jewelry was pretty good, and there were both known brands and some more obscure designers. Most of the items were a bit too glitterish for my taste, but might be a perfect fit for people coming from cultures that value showing off more than we Finns do.
There was a good selection of fragrances and sunglasses, too. These were more affordable than jewelry (that was not too expensive, either), and are easier to buy -- especially as gifts.
When you have basked enough on the sun, and laying on the beach or on the pool deck feels a tad boring, it is time to check Providenciales' shopping malls. We took taxi from our resort to Ports of Call that sounded pretty ok, at least on the paper.
The mall was very sleepy, and there were not much worth buying. It was still a positive distraction from the beach life, and the shops are not bad. There is a big gift and island paraphernalia shop, Mama's Gifts, a sporting equipment shop, small grocery store, a pizzeria and an ice cream parlour.
If you are staying any longer on the Providenciales island, consider having a visit to Graceway IGA supermarket located in the central parts of the island. The big and airy supermarket is shock full of food and drink items, mostly originating from the US.
There is also an extensive wine department, and some non-food items, such as utensils and toys. The prices are not bad. There is some extra for being on an island, but compared to the hotel shops the supermarket is a bargain.
The only problem is how to get there. Taxi costs surprising high amount of money, there are no buses to speak of, and walking is tedious at the best. Maybe sharing a taxi with a few other hotel residents is the best choice. I ended up walking with my son in a stroller. It was pretty sweaty exercise under the blistering sun, and I cannot recommend it to anyone not getting some odd pleasure of straining themselves. The stroller helped to carry a big load of items, but I couldn't bring any ice cream -- which was a bit of disappointment when I learned that they carry Ben & Jerry ice cream.
The Unicorn Bookstore is a biggish bookstore located next to IGA supermarket. They sell, as name implies, mostly books, but also toys, artist supplies, magazines and all other things that you would envision founding in a bookstore. There is no café in the premises; you need to go across the parking lot to a café next to IGA.
Most of the books are American paperbacks, pretty easy to read -- thus perfect for holidays. Literary aficionados might have hard times finding suitable books among all Ludlums, Crichtons and such. Everything is more expensive than in the mainland, but not too much -- you actually might end up buying something.