Independent Shops in Manchester

Creative Tourist

Manchester is a city that is rightly known for its shops. Home to the high-end thrills of Selfridges and Harvey Nichols, it also boasts one of the largest shopping centres in Europe: the Manchester Arndale. But once you have had your fix of known labels and high-street shops, make time for the independents for which Manchester is known so well.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Fred Aldous

    Fred Aldous shop in Northern Quarter, Manchester
    © Fred Aldous

    37 Lever Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 1LW - Visit now

    Three floors of artist supplies, stationery, gifts, cards and wrap, craft items and everything you could ever need should you feel the urge to make something special.

    – Susie Stubbs

  • 2. Thunder Egg, Oldham Street

    Thunder Egg shop in Manchester
    Image courtesy of Thunder Egg

    22 Oldham Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 1JN - Visit now

    Proving that Manchester can do quirky as well as any city you care to name, Thunder Egg is a post-modern treasure trove of kooky finds. Bright colours and prints are the order of the day, from Hello Kitty to owls, apples and Moomins. Youthful retro clothes are complemented by bags, baubles and knick-knacks that should appeal to a broader age range, including striking costume jewellery and homewares.

    – Jo Nightingale

  • 3. Magma Books

    Image of Magma bookshop in Manchester
    Ben Williams

    22 Oldham Street, Manchester, Manchester, M1 1JN - Visit now

    Magazines, design journals, books, stationery, cards and posters all jostle for space inside this Northern Quarter stalwart. Never fails to please the (normally terribly hard to please) design-minded.

    – Susie Stubbs

  • 4. Oi Polloi

    Image of clothes shop Oi Polloi in Manchester
    Ben Williams

    63 Thomas Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1LQ - Visit now

    Online and in the Northern Quarter, an indie boutique that sells the sort of hard to source, beautifully made menswear that’s good enough to make women cry with jealousy. Deadstock General Store around the corner on Edge is also perfect for all your gentlemanly needs.

    – Susie Stubbs

  • 5. Paramount Books

    Paramount Books book shop in Manchester
    Per Gosche via Flickr

    25-27 Shudehill, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 2AF - Visit now

    Located in the scraggy west end of the Northern Quarter, you’re likely to hear the Paramount before you see it, as opera and jazz boom from speakers positioned above the door. A large part of the shop is stacked with crates of Action Comics, Picture Postsand vintage girly magazines with seemingly innocuous yet strangely ominous-sounding titles like Beautiful Britons and Health & Efficiency. If you buy a volume here, you’ll get a piece of fruit from the owner with the spectacularly un-lifelike false arm.

    – Matthew Hull