There are some questions students are afraid to ask us, for fear of the subject being too silly. I think asking about shopping is one of those subjects.
Back when I first got out of graduate school, I was offered a job at another school in Virginia. No knowing the town in which the school was located, I started investigating the shopping of the town, thinking that it would give me an idea of whether the town was urban, suburban, or rural. At that point, I wasn't ready to leave the city.
Anyway, we have three main shopping areas in Charlottesville: The Corner, the Downtown Mall, and Route 29. I've described The Corner a bit already in terms of food, but there are clothing boutiques and bookstores there in addition to the cafes. The Downtown Mall is blocks and blocks (pedestrians only) of shops, restaurants, and street vendors. Route 29 is mostly shopping centers. Barracks Road is the shopping center closest to UVA and on the UVA bus route. There are two supermarkets, Barnes & Noble (the first B&N that was opened outside of a major city), some restaurants and some stores there.
What questions do you have about shopping in Cville?
By the way, this week is Virginia's Festival of the Book. There are events all over the city with authors from all over the country (and world).