Want to find the best places to shop in Manchester? We’ve outlined the biggest and best shopping centres, coolest independent fashion boutiques, and the pick of the many prominent designer stores.
Here you’ll find the best retail streets to head to and the most highly-recommended selection of shops large and small, local and international (and everything in between).
- Main Shopping Streets in Manchester (MAP)
- Designer Shops in Manchester
- Fashion Boutiques + Independent Shops in Manchester
- Shopping Centres in Manchester
- Manchester Shopping FAQ
Is Manchester Good for Shopping?
Manchester has long had a reputation as one of the UK’s best shopping areas, for its wide range of shops selling everything a consumer could desire, including bustling shopping centres and iconic retail hubs.
Manchester retailers have every taste covered, with vintage, high street, designer and independent stores right through the city centre and beyond.
The city’s Northern Quarter was even named in The Telegraph’s Six Greatest Places to Shop in Britain. Plus, The Trafford Centre ranks second in over 7,000 best shopping locations in England on Trip Advisor’s traveller favourites.
What Are the Main Shopping Streets in Manchester?
The main shopping streets in Manchester attracts visitors from all over the world, along with devoted locals who know where to get the best finds for the more individually-minded. Key shopping areas include Market Street, Exchange Square, The Avenue at Spinningfields, New Cathedral Street, King Street, Cross Street, Oldham Street, Deansgate and Oxford Road.
What Designer Shops Are in Manchester?
Manchester has plenty to satisfy consumers with bigger budgets. If you’d like to shop high-end labels, here are some of the most notable designer shops in the city:
- Emporio Armani
- Louis Vuitton
- Harvey Nichols
- Vivienne Westwood
- Emporio Armani
- Michael Kors
- Fred Perry
- Paul Smith
- Hugo Boss
Best Designer Shops in Manchester
When you’re so spoiled for choice, it can be tough to decide which designer shops in Manchester are most worthy of your time and money. So here’s a roundup of three of the best:
1. Harvey Nichols, New Cathedral Street
Just a catwalk away from a litter of standalone world-famous designer stores, luxury department store Harvey Nichols is a one-stop shop for fashion, beauty, accessories and wine over three floors.
There is also a personal shopping service available, for those who would like to enlist extra help in putting together the perfect premium wardrobe.
Brands stocked here include Balmain, Stella McCartney, Charlotte Tilbury, Chanel and Yves Saint Lauren.
2. Vivienne Westwood, Spring Gardens
The striking Victorian architecture is the icing on the cake of this decadent designer store. The historic British label, with the unmistakeable punk-meets-couture aesthetic, has a covert spot in Spring Gardens, still within walking distance of the centre but tucked away enough that you can avoid the crowds.
Find all manner of outlandish products for the most cutting-edge and rebellious of tastes, including clothes bags, jewellery, shoes, and accessories.
3. Flannels, The Avenue Spinningfields
This huge designer outlet store, which is one of the UK’s biggest independent luxury retailers, has a spacious, minimalist interior and features men’s and women’s fashion, footwear and accessories.
Designer brands making a home in the Manchester Flannels include Gucci, Jimmy Choo and Dolce & Gabbana.
Other Notable Designer Shops in Manchester
Other designer stores you can splash out on in Manchester include Paul Smith, Michael Kors, Boss, DKNY, Oliver Sweeney and Belstaff.
Where to Find Designer Shops in Manchester
If you’d like to while away some time shopping designer labels in Manchester, head to Spinningfields, where you can find coveted brands impressively showcased upon the wide, glamorous avenues. You can also find destination high-end stores on New Cathedral Street, Cross Street and King Street.
Best Fashion Boutiques in Manchester
One of the biggest reasons many shoppers love Manchester is for its range of independent clothing stores. From second-hand and vintage to sustainable brands and carefully curated boutiques full of independent labels, there’s something to set you apart at every turn if you like your clothes to stand out from the crowd.
1. Oi Polloi, Thomas Street
This iconic menswear boutique opened in 2002 and is still known as one of the coolest places to shop in Manchester.
Oi Polloi stocks both classic and contemporary men’s clothing and footwear, from both independents and well-known brands. These include Stussy, A.P.C, Carhartt, Mammut, Barbour, Folk, and Oi Polloi’s own namesake brand.
2. Pop Boutique, Oldham Street
This longstanding Northern Quarter vintage favourite opened its first permanent store in 1985 in Affleck’s Palace around the corner. It has since expanded to Leeds, Liverpool and London.
This bigger, second Manchester store opened in 1994 in the basement of Café Pop, before also taking over the top floor.
3. Cow Vintage, Church Street
This beloved vintage clothing store started its life on Piccadilly Gardens, before moving to its natural new home in the Northern Quarter.
You can shop two floors of unique but trend-inspired second-hand and upcycled fashion for men and women, within fun and distinctive surroundings that welcome you in and encourage you to stay for dressing room selfies.
Other Indie Fashion Shops in Manchester
Manchester’s other independent fashion stores worth a mention include Retro Rehab, Oxfam Originals, Blue Rinse, Note, Nola and Beaumont Organic in the Northern Quarter; Love Lucy in Chorlton; and McQueen Independent in Chorlton and Didsbury.
Where to Find Independent Clothes Shops in Manchester
The best area for independent clothes shops in Manchester city centre is the Northern Quarter, where you can find a range of vintage stores, charity shops and independent brands. This includes the eclectic indoor market Affleck’s Palace, containing a range of independent stalls and boutiques.
You can also head to Hatch at Oxford Road, with an array of smaller and pop-up independent stores. There are independent clothes shops around the outskirts of Manchester city centre that are worth visiting too, in areas such as Chorlton and Didsbury.
Manchester Shopping Centres
If you’d like to while away a few hours shopping under the shelter of one roof, with various dining options to keep you energised in between purchases, Manchester has you – literally – covered. Read more about the best shopping centres in the city.
1. Manchester Arndale, Market Street
No shopping trip to Manchester is complete without a port of call at this almost 1,400,000 square-foot complex, with over 200 retailers.
Known locally as the Arndale or the Arndale Centre, it first opened in 1975. Manchester Arndale satisfies an array of buying needs and impulse purchases with global brands, high street stores and smaller outlets. Brands include Next, Sports Direct, Swatch, Apple, TK Maxx, Uniqlo, Urban Outfitters and Disney.
There are also food and drink stops aplenty, including Five Guys, Nando’s, Taco Bell, Starbuck’s and Pizza Hut. In 1996, Manchester Arndale was the tragic target of an IRA bombing, following which significant redevelopment work took place to rebuild the site.
2. The Trafford Centre, Stretford
The Trafford Centre is another Manchester shopping mecca, which has been putting the city on the retail map since it opened in 1998.
The internationally-renowned shopping centre, with the lavish Roman palace-like design, has over 200 stores and attracts in excess of 30 million people annually.
It is the UK’s third largest shopping centre, at 188,000 square metres. The Great Hall entrance, which leads visitors into The Orient food court and the ODEON cinema, contains one of the world’s largest chandeliers. It measures 11m x 9m and weighs 5.5 tons.
3. Royal Exchange Arcade, St Ann’s Square and Cross Street
Housed in this beautiful grade II listed building, you’ll find an impressive but surprisingly unintimidating mixture of shops nestled around the highly esteemed Royal Exchange Theatre, including high street brands, independent stores and premium retailers.
Find everything from fashion and footwear to jewellery, beauty and technology. Brands making a home here include Swarovski, Fjallraven, Watches of Switzerland and French Connection.
Manchester Shopping FAQs:
What Time Do Shops Shut in Manchester City Centre?
Manchester city centre’s bigger shops, such as Manchester Arndale and Selfridges, generally close at 8pm Monday to Friday, 7pm Saturday, 5.30pm Sunday and 6pm on bank holidays. Many of the smaller and independent shops close at 6pm Monday to Saturday and 5pm Sunday.
Does Manchester Have a Primark?
Yes, Manchester’s centrally-located Primark is on Market Street, with three floors of affordable clothes, accessories and homeware. At the time of opening in 2001, the Manchester site was the world’s biggest Primark store. It retained that position for a few years when it underwent a significant expansion in 2013, bringing it to a huge 150,100 square feet.
Does Manchester Have a Selfridges?
Yes, the Manchester branch of Selfridges is on Exchange Square, close to Victoria train station. This iconic glass-fronted designer shopping haven has endless high-end brands all under one roof, including Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Burberry and Fendi. There is another Selfridges in Manchester’s Trafford Centre.
Is it Easy to Park in Manchester City Centre?
There are always plenty of cars competing for parking space in Manchester city centre, however there are many parking options to choose from. These include council-owned and private car parks, pay and display on-street parking bays, off-street parking and park and ride Metrolink services, if you wish to park outside the city centre and travel in by tram.
In the centrally-located zone one, you can expect to pay from £1.50 for up to 30 minutes, to £6.00 for up to two hours. You can park in all of Manchester city centre’s parking bays for free between 8pm and 8am, Monday to Sunday.