Manchester is one of the best places to shop in England with a great selection of shops and stores ranging from high street names to independent boutiques.
The Manchester Arndale was recently revamped and extended and is now the country’s biggest city centre shopping mall. Shops here include huge branches of Next, Topman and Topshop, HMV, Bhs, and Clas Ohlson. Market Street runs along its southern edge and counts a large Debenhams department store, Primark, H&M, American Apparel, Jessops, Mango, and Boots amongst its tenants.
Exchange Square and New Cathedral Street rose from the devastation of the 1996 IRA bomb and are now home to some of the city’s most fashionable stores. Marks & Spencer, Selfridges, and Harvey Nichols are just some of the big names here. The Corn Exchange (formerly Triangle) shopping centre is also here.
King Street is packed with high-end fashion stores like Agent Provocateur, Cath Kidston, Crombie, Diesel, Hermes, Timberland, and Tommy Hilfiger. Exclusive shops can also be found around St Ann’s Square and The Avenue at Spinningfields.
Deansgate is home to the House of Fraser department store, a large Waterstone’s book shop, and numerous camping and outdoor shops such as Blacks and Nevisport. There is also a good selection of furniture shops on the Deansgate side of the Great Northern complex.
The Northern Quarter is best known for its independent and unusual shops. Many are located within Afflecks, a legendary emporium packed with dozens of vintage and fashion stalls. The Manchester Craft & Design Centre is also here and is an excellent place to buy unique presents.
Manchester’s markets offer a good alternative to the high street names and expensive boutiques that dominate the city centre. The Arndale Market was relaunched in 2006 after a undergoing a substantial facelift. The food market here features a greengrocer, fishmongers, and food hall offering affordable dishes from all over the world. There are also traditional market stalls selling clothing, footwear, mobile phones, jewellery, gifts, and more. It’s open 7 days a week and situated at the High Street end of the Manchester Arndale.
The Real Food Market offers high quality, seasonal produce from farmers and smallholders from across the North West. It’s a great place to buy organic meats, vegetables, cheese, and wine. It’s held on Piccadilly Gardens on the second and last Saturday of every month.
The Tib Street Market is a weekly fashion market held every Saturday at the gateway to the Northern Quarter. Up and coming designers showcase quirky jewellery, customised vintage clothes, unique designer-style dresses, and more.
Other regular markets in city centre include the Manchester Flower Market (Piccadilly Gardens, Thursday to Saturday) and the Vintage & Fashion Market (Piccadilly Gardens, 3rd Friday and Saturday of every month).
Manchester United has a store at Old Trafford while Manchester City has shops at the Etihad Stadium and on Market Street in Manchester city centre. All offer football kits, home and away shirts, tracksuits, jackets, t-shirts, pyjamas, dressing gowns, clothing, scarfs, bedding, gifts, books, videos and DVDs, posters, mugs, and more.
The Trafford Centre is out of town but easily accessible by car or public transport. It boasts more than 200 shops including large branches of Bhs, Boots, Debenhams, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, and Selfridges. The Barton Square extension opened in 2008 and features numerous shops selling furniture and household goods. Natuzzi, British Home Stores, Dwell, Laura Ashley, and Marks & Spencer Home are just some of the big name stores here.
Over at Salford Quays the Lowry Outlet Mall is Manchester’s only factory outlet shopping centre. The shops here offer massive discounts on high street prices and the mall also offers a multiplex cinema, food court, and a choice of bars and restaurants.
Retail and shopping parks in and around Manchester include the Central Retail Park in Ancoats, the Crown Point North Shopping Park in Denton, the Manchester Fort Shopping Park in Cheetham Hill, Snipe Retail Park in Ashton-under-Lyne, the White City Retail Park in Trafford, and Altrincham Retail Park.