The Northern Store, part supermarket, part general store, is the only available shopping chain in most Nunavut communities. The 21 Northern Stores across Nunavut are often the only places where people in these communities can purchase clothing, groceries, electronics, toys, and other basic necessities residents of North America often take for granted.
Most Nunavut tourists, on the other hand, are far more interested in the arts and crafts shops selling handmade carvings, artwork, and warm winter clothing throughout the territory. Many of these independent shops are affiliated with the Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association, a non-profit organization working on behalf of the territory’s countless talented artisans.
Although some Nunavut artists hawk their wares to guests in restaurants or even directly on the street, they are rarely overly aggressive and do not wish to offend potential customers. In fact, many Nunavut artists are reluctant to charge any more than they believe visitors will pay and aggressive haggling usually causes artists to drop their prices even lower than what the goods are actually worth. Items sold directly from artists lack the official certification of items in shops so consumers should use their own judgment on what to buy where.
Importing products made from sealskin or other sea mammal parts is illegal in some countries, so visitors from outside of Canada should look up the restrictions before bringing back any Nunavut souvenirs made from these materials.