Liverpudlians are a style-conscious lot who take a huge pride in their appearance and consequently, the city is a shoppers’ paradise. From independent outlets and hidden emporiums to designer shops and popular high street stores, every taste and style is catered for, whether you’re looking for a gift for a loved one, a souvenir of your visit to Liverpool or a stylish outfit.
Fashion is particularly strong as Liverpool girls and guys love to dress up. To meet these exacting standards, the city is packed with shops and stores to suit every taste. Liverpool boasts a wide range of renowned shopping streets, malls and centres and because the city centre is compact, they are all within strolling distance of each other. The jewel in the crown is Liverpool ONE – an open air shopping district described as one of Europe’s leading retail and leisure destinations.
Beautifully designed, with a five-acre park, apartments, hotels, a leisure terrace with bars, restaurants and lovely views, Liverpool ONE is retail heaven with more than 170 stores. It also provides easy access from the city’s main shopping areas to the Waterfront. Live entertainment and regular events take place at the complex to keep shoppers entertained. Each area of Liverpool ONE has its own distinct style, while two of the UK’s favourite department stores, John Lewis and Debenhams, form the cornerstone of the complex. Explore both floors to discover popular high street names like Zara, Victoria’s Secret, Hollister, All Saints, Apple and its latest edition ARKET, part of the H&M group. Sample fragrances at Superdrug or check out Paperchase for the coolest stationery.
For high-end designer names including Michael Kors, Reiss, Hugo Boss, Flannels and Karen Millen head to St Peter’s Lane. On nearby Manesty’s Lane stands the UK’s only Beauty Bazaar, Harvey Nichols. Top beauty brands available there include NARS, M.A.C, Tom Ford, Hourglass, Chanel and YSL. If you feel ever so slightly ‘shopped out’ at Liverpool ONE, and it’s entirely possible with so much choice, there are plenty of places to eat, drink or see a movie. Mexican, Caribbean, Asian, Italian and Japanese are among the many types of restaurant.
Beautifully designed, with a five-acre park, apartments, hotels, a leisure terrace with bars, restaurants and lovely views, Liverpool ONE is retail heaven with more than 170 stores
Boutiques, designer brands and markets
A short distance away from Liverpool ONE is Cavern Walks, located on the historic Mathew Street – birthplace of the Beatles phenomenon. This arcade houses some of the city’s best known fashion boutiques including Cricket, which has gained a national reputation, thanks partly to its popularity with footballers’ wives and celebrities. You will also find Vivienne Westwood, one of its flagship boutiques, as well as Weavers Door which offers a range of designer clothes for men and fashionistas’ heaven Boudoir Boutique.
In nearby Whitechapel is the Metquarter, a stunning walk through arcade often described as the ‘Bond Street of Liverpool’ in deference to the designer names located there including Hugo Boss, Diesel and Jo Malone. Take a break from shopping to eat and drink at restaurants including Carluccio’s, Caffetteria Dantonio and Patisserie Valerie, or if pampering is more your thing, head to Sassoon Salon or make-up heaven M.A.C. As you head out on to Church Street/Lord Street, traditional high street shopping thoroughfares, you’ll find well-known names such as Marks & Spencer, Next, River Island, Topshop and TX Maxx, as well as smaller outlets.
There are two more main shopping centres in the city. St John’s Centre is a bustling modern mall, located next to the landmark 400 feet Radio City Tower (or to give it it’s official name, St John’s Beacon). St John’s Centre, Liverpool’s largest covered shopping centre, is home to more than 100 retailers including Argos, Wilko, JD, Matalan and Thorntons. Eateries include McDonalds, KFC, Chopstix Noodle Bar and Mangobean Coffee.
The centre is also home to a traditional market, packed full of busy stalls selling everything from meat and shellfish to baby clothes. The market, which dates back to 1822, recently underwent a £2m refurbishment and has a lively and down to earth atmosphere. Speaking of markets, look out for the colourful stalls that grace the city centre on a regular basis, as well as farmers’ markets on different days at different locations.
Great Homer Street Market – known as ‘Greatie’ and where Cilla Black once had a stall, is located between Great Homer Street and Scotland or ‘Scottie’ Road as it is referred to by locals. The historic market is part of a £150m regeneration scheme for the area. Just across the pedestrianised area from St John’s Shopping Centre is Clayton Square, which features a stunning glass dome and is home to Boots, Costa, Peacocks and Clas Ohlson to name a few.
In nearby Whitechapel is the Met Quarter, a stunning walk through arcade often described as the Bond Street of Liverpool
Emporiums and treasure troves
For those who prefer a quirkier shopping experience, head around the corner to Renshaw Street and Hardman Street to seek out the weird and wonderful emporiums located in the nooks and crannies of larger buildings. 69A, on Renshaw Street, is a treasure trove of vintage fashion, antiques, Asian art, decorative art and collectibles. Nearby Grand Central, a former religious meeting house, is now home to a range of independent businesses selling everything from vintage and retro clothing to accessories, fetish wear and incense sticks.
Grand Central also features Quiggins, a collection of outlets including Moo Moo, Total Recall Vintage and Enola Rose. A short stroll away is historic Bold Street, described by a well-known travel guide as one of the ‘best shopping streets in the country.’ Bold Street features independent stores selling everything from unusual homeware to world foods and vinyl records. It is also home to many restaurants, bars and cafes including Leaf, one of the most unique venues in Liverpool. The independent tea shop offers hundreds of varieties of tea, as well as a breakfast, lunch and evening menu. Housed in a distinctive building, Leaf also holds events including vintage fairs and club nights.
If quirky designer furniture is more your thing venture inside Utility, which specialises in contemporary furniture and design classics from leading brands including Vitra, Carl Hansen and major European designers. For reworked and branded clothes check out Resurrection, and for vintage clothes head to Pop Boutique. LIV is an organic and natural food market and vegan eatery on Bold Street. Health conscious shoppers will find organic fruit and veg, fresh herbs, spices and seasonal products, as well as a bakery and a wide range of natural haircare products and cosmetics.
Head further down Bold Street’s cobbles and you’ll come across a well-known bookstore News from Nowhere, a not for profit radical, community bookstore, established in 1974 and run collectively by a women workers’ co-operative. Added into the Bold Street mix are fresh fruit and veg stalls, international food specialist Mattas, small art galleries and art supply shops including Rennies, a Liverpool institution. As well as selling arts and craft materials, Rennies also exhibits and sells collectible artwork.
For reworked and branded clothes check out Resurrection, and for vintage clothes head to Pop Boutique
Souvenirs, memorabilia and crafts
No trip to Liverpool is complete without a trip to the Albert Dock, located at the heart of the city’s historic waterfront. As well as being a great place to eat and drink, there are a range of shops nested in the Grade 1-listed buildings along the Colonnades and Britannia walkways. Every attraction at the Albert Dock has its own shop so you can pick up a souvenir, whether it’s memorabilia from the Beatles Story, a piece of history from the Maritime and International Slavery Museums or a print from Tate Liverpool. Gift and souvenir shops feature everything from jellybean portraiture of The Beatles to jewellery and nautically-themed homeware.
In recent years a whole host of independent stores have opened their doors in the city – from vintage clothing shops and record stores to outlets selling stunning works of art, cigars from around the world and hand-made wines. Ship in a Bottle, located in the Whitechapel area and launched by the same entrepreneurs behind the renowned Ship and Mitre pub, stocks beers from across the world including the UK, Japan, Denmark and Australia.
Continuing with the alcoholic beverages theme, Turmeaus Cigars and Whisky in Old Hall Street sells a range of whiskies, as well as some of the world’s best cigars, while Whisky Business, just off Fenwick Street, stocks whiskies and other spirits from around the world, with expert advice on hand for the uninitiated. In nearby Queen Avenue, a quaint little area off Castle Street, R and H Fine Wines specialise in hand-made wines and champagne. Many of the wines are organic and the owner is incredibly knowledgeable. Whilst in Queen Avenue, pop into dot-art gallery for exhibitions and unique pieces of affordable art.
Lovers of vinyl music will love Dig Vinyl, tucked away in the basement of Soho’s on Bold Street. The store stocks a range of second hand vinyl records, books and music memorabilia. Explore a bit further across the city to visit the Baltic Triangle, the city’s creative and digital quarter where the Hobo Kiosk is located. This treasure chest stocks vintage and mid-century furniture and homeware. For artisan bread and some of the best bacon butties in town check out the Baltic Bakehouse.
For a shopping experience described as being like no other, head to Cain’s Brewery for the Red Brick Hangar. Dubbed the ‘Camden of Liverpool’, this former abandoned warehouse features tattooists, barbers, boutique designers and traders stocking antiquities and rare pieces. Creativity, Love and Community are the bywords in Red Brick’s manifesto, with the venue now being home to a range of independent businesses including Total Recall Vintage, The Bloom Room and Cakes by Andrew.
Every attraction at the Albert Dock has its own shop so you can pick up a souvenir, whether it’s memorabilia from the Beatles Story, a piece of history from the Maritime and International Slavery Museums or a print from Tate Liverpool
Men who like a tailored look should check out Signature Bespoke, a luxury’s men’s tailor located with the city’s historic India Building on Water Street, while Edwards England on College Lane, stocks a range of smart men’s clothing and shoes. In a bid to inspire artists, Cass Art in School Lane, stocks more than 10,000 product lines and art supplies.
Also on School Lane is the legendary Probe Records and no trip to Liverpool is complete without a visit, particularly music lovers. Opened in 1971, Probe is a small independent record shop with a rich musical history. Members of Liverpool bands Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Echo and the Bunnymen and The Teardrop Explodes all shopped here, while the late Pete Burns, singer with Dead or Alive, once worked on the shop floor. Probe is located within the Bluecoat Chambers; Liverpool’s oldest building, where the Bluecoat Display Centre can also be found. This gallery features work by artists and crafts people and includes contemporary craft and design, hand-made glassware, jewellery, sculpture and prints.
While at the Bluecoat Chambers pop into Kernaghan Books, a book lover’s paradise. Kernaghan’s stocks works first published more than 400 years ago, as well as many rare and collectible titles. Don’t leave the Bluecoat without popping into The Painted Chair, a family-run business that updates and breathes new life into classic furniture. Specialities include home accessories and chalk-painted furniture.
For those with the luxury of more time in Liverpool travel slightly further afield to Cheshire Oaks, near Ellesmere Port, a designer and household name outlet village. Just 30 minutes from Liverpool, Cheshire Oaks features a wide range of designer stores including The North Face, Belstaff, Coach, Converse, Karl Lagerfeld and Polo Ralph Lauren. Huge discounts on designer goods make the outlet a popular destination for shoppers.
A short distance from Cheshire Oaks is the historic city of Chester, featuring Rows which comprise of 700-year-old, two-tiered, covered shopping galleries. Twenty miles north of Liverpool is Southport, a seaside town boasting wide Victorian shopping boulevards, antique shops and stylish arcades. All are easily reachable on public transport, with trains directly from Liverpool to Chester and Southport and a regular bus service to Cheshire Oaks. Whether you are just browsing, are seeking a small souvenir or are up for spending some serious money, you’ll find what you are looking for in Liverpool. Just don’t forget the credit cards!
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