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Friday 19 Jul 2024

[@]Manchester's Shopping Experience


With an almost endless list of activities, the metropolitan area has solidified itself as a commercial hotspot to rival any other in the UK. A big part of what makes it a favourite for both tourists and locals alike is the shopping experience.

From top to bottom you’ll be spoilt for choice, with the city centre boasting almost every conceivable fancy for even the most insatiable shopper. From high end designer fashion to vintage stores bursting with character, from bargains on the high street to unearthing unique gems in an independent boutique on a back street – Manchester has it all.

And before you waste even a moment worrying about how you’ll take it all in: one of the most celebrated features of Manchester’s shopping experience is just how compact it is. There is little need for public transport and within a short walk you can find yourself hopping from the cheap and cheerful stores to fit a modest budget, to the upmarket outlets if you’re wanting to splash some cash.

Whether it’s the latest electronic gadget, the perfect addition to your wardrobe or even just an afternoon browsing – whatever you had in mind, Manchester is the place to find it.

The Manchester style

What comes to mind when if you’re asked to picture Manchester style – a Liam Gallagher trench coat complete with sideburns? OK, well it’s not the 1990s anymore, so don’t hold your breath.

But that’s not to say the city’s not managed to nuture and preserve several distinct trends. And the cocksure Gallagher’s style is still alive and well in the city, with the Oasis frontman’s own store Pretty Green residing in the heart of Manchester’s most exclusive shopping district – King Street. The star’s childhood haunts across the city are still used in the label’s photoshoots and to inspire their latest ranges.

The vast number of shops alone is evidence enough that Mancunians love a good spree from time to time, and some of the brand’s closest to their heart are homegrown. The inimitable Henri Lloyd, who somehow took ‘technical sailing clothing’ and made it both supremely fashionable while unparalleled in its functionality, has multiple stores across the city, from St Ann’s Square to the Trafford Centre.

The iconic sport brand Umbro was born and still resides in the city – making its debut on a Manchester City kit in the 1934 FA cup final and even sponsoring the Blues when they snatched Premier League glory in 2012.

Manchester is both a fashion conscious city as well as one proud in accepting of self-expression, as weird and wonderful as this needs to be. So don’t be surprised to see a few alternative looks as you go about your shopping. And if something catches your eye, you can be sure there’ll be a shop stocking it close by.

Before you do anything though, you might want to get your hands on an umbrella. While the city actually has an average annual rainfall lower than the rest of the UK, it’s not developed a reputation as the ‘rainy city’ for nothing. When it does rain, it can be quite relentless. Not only will an umbrella complete the outfit but might just come in handy.

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    Shopping Ideas and Getting About

    Manchester is surprisingly compact for such a major city. Its good transportation enables easy movement between its areas and walking in the city centre is a good option

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    Afflecks Manchester

    Afflecks is an emporium of eclecticism, a totem of indie commerce in Manchester’s Northern Quarter and above all else a fantastic place to shop for anything from Top hats to tattoos

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    The Trafford Centre

    Five miles out of town is the huge Trafford Centre. It is easily accessed by the express X50 bus route and has substantial parking for private cars

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    The Arndale Centre

    With its main entrance on Market St, the Arndale Centre is in the heart of Manchester housing big brands such as Apple, TK Maxx and River Island

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    The Lowry Outlet

    10 minutes on the tram, from Piccadilly, The Lowry Outlet offers shoppers discounts from high street retailers and brands

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    History of Shopping

    The story of Manchester’s role at the forefront of the industrial revolution


Manchester a City of ‘Quarters’

Bury - Part of Historic Manchester


Only 30 minutes by Tram from the City Centre, Bury and its attractions make a good day trip



Nestled between the Irwell and Medloack rivers Castlefield is where the Romans established 'Mamucium'. Experience the old and modern and explore its attractions

China Town - City Centre

China Town

China Town, a stone's throw from Piccadilly Gardens, offers restaurants, specialist supermarkets and entertainment all in one space



Connecting most parts of the city, this mile-long road is worth a stroll along and offers some great shops and places to eat

Read About All Manchester‘s Quarters