Shopping in Manchester
|| With its unique
mix of world famous department stores, designer shops
and individual traders, Manchester is the region’s
Number One when it comes to shopping.
From the trusty Arndale Centre [map] and the exclusive Triangle complex to the everything-under-one-roof Trafford Centre [map],
the city provides all you need for a hard day’s
shopping. Why not start by checking out Manchester’s
largest and most famous department store Kendals [map] – a favourite with the city’s TV, film and
football stars. Here you’ll find the best in household
goods, designer wear and cosmetics, along with a very
tempting food hall, a trendy café and a high-class
The other department stores in the city centre – Selfridges [map], Marks & Spencer [map], Debenhams [map] and Harvey Nichols [map] – are also worth a visit.
Manchester’s Marks & Spencer is the biggest in Europe and has very much become a symbol
of the city’s determination to succeed in the aftermath
of the IRA bombing. Within its breathtaking glass walls,
there are four huge floors of home furnishings, women,
men and children’s clothes, and M&S’ renowned
food hall. The store on Exchange Square has five entrances
and is linked to the Arndale Centre by a steel tunnel
Attached to Marks & Spencer is a relatively new department
store, Selfridges – one of only four stores
in the country, another of which is at the Trafford Centre.
It is the top dog for designer gear, making it an essential
accessory of the North West’s IT girls and world
famous celebrities. So don’t be surprised to find
the Beckhams, Liam Gallagher and most of the Coronation
Street and Hollyoaks casts shopping here.
Heading to the other side of town you’ll find well-known
chainstore Debenhams, which offers a
wide range of high street and designer fashions, home
furnishings, perfumes and cosmetics.
Another favourite stop on Manchester’s celebrity
circuit is Harvey Nichols – or 'Harvey Nicks'
as it is affectionately known – which opened in
August 2003. The store primarily sells fashions from renowned
designers such as Paul Smith and Yohji Yamamoto, along
with other top-notch designer labels, but it also has
extensive beauty and home furnishing departments.
If exclusive clothes are what you’re after then
you’ll be spoilt for choice in Manchester because
along with the department stores there are also a selection
of designer-named shops on Cross Street [map] and St Ann’s Square. From the legendary Italian
fashion house Hugo Boss to one of Britain’s most
flamboyant designers Vivienne Westwood, they’re
all cashing in on Manchester’s status as a shopping
heaven. Other designer stores include DKNY, Emporio Armani
and Ted Baker.
The exclusive Triangle centre – created after
the IRA bombing of the Victorian Corn Exchange –
is also worth a look for designer shops.
Here you’ll find three floors of stores, bars and
restaurants, including Space NK, Calvin Klein, and the only Zinc Bar and Grill outside London.
For small individually-owned retail outlets get along
to Royal Exchange shopping centre [map],
where you’ll find three floors of shops selling
exclusive fashions, top quality cigars, designer jewellery
and specialist coffee beans.
If you prefer to stick to High Street shops then you won’t
be disappointed at the newly renovated Arndale Centre
[map] on Market Street. In here you’ll find a wealth
of well-known retail outlets such as Benetton, Miss Selfridge,
Ravel, Mothercare, River Island and Dixons.
The Warner Bros Studio Store provides a focal point at
the entrance foyers and offers occasional light shows
and family entertainment.
Outside on Market Street there are more high street shops
such as Warehouse, Next and Dolcis.
For an alternative shopping venue why not try the rather
diverse yet very trendy Afflecks Palace [map] in the Northern Quarter. Individual stallholders and small
retail outlets fight for space in this multi-floored paradise,
which has a very unique and independent feel. You can
browse through vintage and clubbing clothing, jeanswear,
second-hand and rare music, watches and jewellery or check
out the excellent gift and card shops. And for those who
fancy returning home with a new look there is a hairdresser’s
and a couple of body piercers and tatooists as well.
If you prefer a shopping experience where everything is
under one roof then take a trip out of town to the Trafford
Centre [map] or the Lowry Designer Outlet [map].
With more than 280 different retailers, the Trafford Centre
plays hosts to nearly every chainstore going including
Mango, Muji, H & M, Boots, and Debenhams.
When you get tired you can always take a break in the
1,600-seater food court – The Orient – which
has restaurants evoking New Orleans, New York, Italian
and Chinese themes. There is also a 20-screen UCI cinema
and plenty of swanky bars, which stay open long after
the shops have closed for the night.
Manchester’s newest shopping experience, the Lowry
Designer Outlet, is located on the beautifully
revitalised Salford Quays. Here you’ll
find more than 80 stores selling famous branded fashion
and homeware at up to half price. Outlet stores including
Marks and Spencer, Whistles, Mexx and Nike sell surplus
stock, end of line merchandise at prices way below the
With all those designer, exclusive and high street shops
in the heart of Manchester and beyond it’s no wonder
the city is known as the North West’s shopping capital!
If you want to comment on our choices or recommend somewhere
to shop in Manchester, why not use our What
You Recommend form to let us know.