Do I get it right considering 'I am going to some shops' just as reporting a fact, and 'I am going down to some shops' as, say, I'am leaving my town residence for shopping in the country or my country or surbubian residence for downtown shopping?

More examples to look upon are 'We went down to the beach' and 'we went to the beach'.

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    Answered at Do I travel "up" or "down" to London from north of the city?. // Collocation with over-down-out looks a closer fit but was actually closed as a duplicate itself. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 29 '15 at 21:10
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    There's no hard and fast rule. Generally using the "going down" idiom would imply that you're leaving your own neighborhood (and usually traveling in the direction of "downtown" or "downshore", both of which are nebulously defined). You might even say you're "going up to do some shopping", in a particular urban setting. But "up" and "down" are defined by local culture and convention, not the compass. – Hot Licks Dec 29 '15 at 22:55

The "down" variation emphasizes the travel part of the trip, where the non-"down" variation emphasizes the destination more (or exclusively).

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