Old Town Alexandria is definitely a shopper's destination.  King St. runs through the heart of the shopping district.    Along both sides of the street, all the wayfrom the King Street Metrorail Station  to the Potomac River, you'll find historic buildings that now house numerous shops of all variety.  Whether you're looking for antiques, home furnishings, jewelry, glass art, fine art galleries, or just ice cream, King Street has it.  The shops and botiques offer a pleasing alternative to the usual department store offerings.

A must see attraction is the Torpedo Factory at the end of King Street on the Waterfront.    The first floor has the Art League gallery/shop and Potomac Fiber Arts Gallery which change inventory monthly and the rest of the floors have artist studios open to the public.    ArtCraft has a store nearby with unique household  items. 

 While there is a standard shopping center at Landmark Mall with the same stores found everywhere (Macy's Sear's etc) they do not offer anything different than you can buy in your home town.   Likewise there are small neighborhood shopping centers but nothing worth the trip for a visitor.