Manchester rocks when it comes to retail with its mixture of high street favourites, designer boutiques, cool independents and malls. Stroll through the city streets for a shopping experience that can range from buying cheese in a European-style market to a designer suit from a world-class department store.
Manchester’s shops rival those in the capital and many of the high street brands have opened flagship stores in the city, like Uniqulo, which has opened its only store outside London on the former BHS site on Market Street, Next with its pizza and prosecco bar and Zara which commands four floors of merchandise at the Deansgate end of Market Street.
The high end stores such as Harvey Nichols and Selfridges go the extra mile for their customers offering personal shopping services for men and women which is perfect if you are buying for a specific occasion or for the season and need a little help. They may even pour you a glass of fizz or two to get you in a buying mood!
You don’t have to stop at new clothes as the stores can also arrange for make-up, hair and a manicure if you wish to undergo a complete revamp. It’s as much about the ‘experience’ and entertainment as it is about finding that perfect purchase. Look out for art exhibitions, talks and customer evenings throughout the year.
Designer shopping can be found at the Deansgate end of the city with boutique stores like Paul Smith, Hugo Boss, Ted Baker, Burberry, Michael Kors and Ugg on New Cathedral Street.
The high end stores such as Harvey Nichols and Selfridges go the extra mile for their customers offering personal shopping services for men and women
Selfridges’ Exchange Square is dedicated to fashion and beauty and the second floor is where the well heeled head to pick up prestigious labels such as Victoria Beckham, Diane Von Furstenberg, Balenciagia and Roland Mouret. There’s a fabulous shoe boutique stocked with footwear from Gucci, Kurt Geiger, Louboutin, Malone Souliers, Valentino, YSL and Dolce & Gabbana. The third floor has French chic by Claudie Pierlot, Maje and The Kooples as well as favourites, M&Co, Topshop, Ted Baker and All Saints. Other concessions here include, Gestutz, Ganni, Joseph, Lavish Alice, See by Chloe and Self Portrait. The menswear on the first floor includes Tiger of Sweden, Ralph Lauren and Ted Baker, while the ground floor has Tiffany, Mulberry, Chanel, YSL, and Louis Vuitton amongst its mini-boutiques.
Over at Harvey Nichols there’s more upscale fashion, including for women Amanda Wakeley and shoes by Charlotte Olympia and for men, Alexander McQueen and Givenchy. The store also fulfils any shopper’s culinary curiosity with its food market on the second floor.
Beauty is big for Manchester shoppers and Harvey Nichols is where you’ll find Rihanna’s uber cult brand, Fenty, Sisley, Jo Malone, Crème De La Mer, Chantecaille, and new addition, La Prairie. Have your hair done at Show beauty indulge in a treatment at Flint + Flint, or have your nails done at Only Fingers & Toes.
Across from Cathedral Walks is St Ann’s Square where you’ll find the Barbour store, Molton Brown and Office. From St Ann’s Square it’s a few steps to St Ann’s street fronting the delightful Italianate St Ann’s Church which has Space NK, Russell & Bromley and the city’s jewellery quarter where you can buy dazzling baubles at David M Robinson, Mappin & Webb and Boodles.
Selfridges’ Exchange Square is dedicated to fashion and beauty and the second floor is where the well heeled head to pick up prestigious labels
High street favourites
Just off St Ann’s Square is the Royal Exchange Shopping Centre, which has men’s clothing store Lanigan and Hulme selling brands such as Hackett, Crombie, Sunspel, John Smedley, Orlebar Brown and Dents Gloves, the super cool outdoor clothing brand Fjallraven and Watches of Switzerland.
Heading away from Deansgate towards Piccadilly, along Market Street you’ll find all the main high street brands and the city’s Arndale Centre. Market Street can be a full on experience, especially at the weekends with its crowds, hawkers, buskers, trams and the bustle but it’s just locals out having fun and buying up half of Primark. Here is where to find all the major names from Tesco to TK Maxx, as well as the new Uniqulo. There’s Boots and Clarks alongside funky Urban Outfitters, All Saints.
When the famous Manchester rain falls or you just fancy a respite from the action outdoors, head into the Arndale. This is home to the Apple Store, Accessorize, the City Store, a shop dedicated to one of the two local (and quite famous) football teams.
Here you’ll also find, Gap, the Foot Asylum, Topshop, River Island, Radley, Hollister, Jack & Jones, Waterstones, Dune, Next and an indoor market where you can buy anything from fresh lobster to fancy dress – there’s a great alteration service there, too. At the Cross Street end of the Arndale there are two entrances. One exits into Market Street and the other on the upper level leads through a covered walkway into Marks & Spencer and Selfridges.
Heading away from Deansgate towards Piccadilly, along Market Street you’ll find all the main high street brands and the city’s Arndale Centre