Harwin has many strip malls with discount shops and wholesale warehouses. Allison Wollam said that the street has a "bargain mile" image among Houstonians (Houston citizens). The Houston Press stated that Harwin was "Houston's shadiest and quirkiest shopping hot spot."
Jenalia Moreno of the Houston Chronicle said that Harwin was "a strip known by local fashionistas as ground zero for affordable purses, clothing, shoes and jewelry." Moreno also said "If you want name-brand purses, designer sunglasses or other accessories at dirt cheap prices, Houstonians know to hit shops lining Harwin Drive. Consumers buy the goods thinking they're getting a sweet deal — or just give a wink and a nod knowing the products could be fake.