This site used to be a renowned flower shop, "Amadeus". A few years ago, Nuances home decoration/furnishing moved in. It's a beautiful store.
What to buy: lamps, decoration, tableware, furniture
What to pay: moderate to expensive
Caroline Biss has stores throughout Europe, of which a dozen or so in Belgium. I haven't seen any stores other than the Leuven location so it can't say how it compares to others - it's a spacious store, though.
What to buy: Modern, prêt-a-porter ladies fashion.
What to pay: Prices are moderate to expensive.
De Toekan (toucan) can best be descibed as an "ethnic gift shop" where you can buy mostly handmade products. While the store isn't that big, it takes a while to go through all the nooks and crannies - but it's fun.
What to buy: Men's / women's clothing / apparel (mainly from Asian countries), handmade jewelery, paper goods, incense, figurines, dolls, and all sorts of little nic nacs.
What to pay: inexpensive to moderate prices
One of the bigger "parfumeries" - if not the biggest - in Leuven. It used to be on the opposite side of the street but recently moved to a new location. Staff is knowledgeable and helpful.
What to buy: Very large selection of scent/beauty products.
What to pay: Prices are moderate, not exactly (in-)expensive, then again - this is not a discount store. You may find certain products cheaper when shopping around, then again the selection here is hard to beat for a store in a mid-size town like Leuven.
Out of the many bookstores in Leuven, this one is my personal favorite. Nice and relaxt atmosphere, and the staff is super friendly and helpfull. Not only do they have a great range of literature (in Dutch), they also have English books (art, novels, second-hand). They will start selling (more) books in French/Spanish/Italian very soon, so please stop by if that is what you are looking for.
What to buy: Books, from art to novels to second hand, but also pretty postcards, nice gadgets, and much more.
What to pay: Boekcargo is quite cheap: prices range from as little as 5E (for a real book, that is) up to max. 30E.
This is the old Yale CO-OP and old Harvard COOP all rolled into one! A great many books along with essential student supplies. Unlike the Library, I didn't need a special card to enter here. Specially good selection of foreign language manuals.
What to buy: Books, of course!
What to pay: About average
United Brands used to be called PM Sports and has been around for two decades. The UB store in Leuven only opened a few years ago.
Whether your thing is tennis, skiing, snowboarding, playing soccer - or whether you just like active lifestyle clothing, United Brands has a vast selection available, they carry over 80 brands. The focus, however, is on wintersports (they also rent and service ski's and snowboards).
What to buy: Brands include Fila, Quicksilver, Umbro, O'Neill, Puma, Adidas, Champion, Scott USA, Reebok, Speedo, Atomic, Eastpak, Nike, Oxbow, ... the works.
What to pay: hmm... You should know by now that sports is an expensive hobby.
A few years ago, WE came into being - a European merger of two other fashion retail chains - HIJ en ZIJ (he and she), and the Dutch-based label soon became an international brand name with over 200 store locations in 6 countries.
What to buy: The Leuven store is very spacious and offers a wide selection in men's, women's and children's clothing and accessories.
What to pay: Most items are moderately priced.
Wibra is a Dutch / Belgian chain of stores that sells inexpensive - if not to say dead cheap - products, which doesn't necessarily mean all their products (most of it is textile) are inferior - although some of them are of questionable quality or look a bit, well, tacky/shabby. But even if you're a discerning customer you can still pick up a few good bargains here.
What to buy: Wibra is good place to go to if you need certain items but don't want to spend too much on them, including :
-spare socks, underwear, t-shirts, pullovers, night gowns, children's clothing, etc ...
-kitchenware, glassware, utensils
-items for home decoration, bed linnens, towels, etc...
-a selection of drugstore / bodycare products
-toys, sweets, and little nic nacs to keep the kids happy (like sticker books, funky hairclips, etc...)
What to pay: Practically anything there is a bargain, but be selective and check the quality.
You can usually view their latest promotions -folder on the web site to get an idea of their selection.
You probably know this chain since Zara has 762 stores located in the main commercial areas of 55 countries in America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia - so chances are there is one near you. There are a dozen Zara stores in Belgium.
What to buy: hmm... how about ... fashion ? The web site has a good illustrated overview of their selection and catalogue.
What to pay: prices are moderate.
very elegant antique shop with a warmy welcome from Jean-Paul and Daniël.
Present yourself as a Virtualtourist member for a good bargain.
What to buy: from small to big and from affordable to expansive.
What to pay: As much as you want
Probably the most renowned specialist wine store in Leuven.
What to buy: Despite what the name implies, they also carry other European and overseas wine brands.
Most stores in Leuven, Hasselt and Tournai are in their "final" sale mode. So not a bad time to buy the stuff you need at reduced rates.