Independent Shops in Manchester

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor

While the popularity of online shopping has been something of a death knell for most high street giants, independent retailers (based in actual, physical shops) are becoming more popular by the day. Which is hardly a surprise. Who really wants to order everything they own off a screen, or pour more money into the pockets of mega-companies like Primark? Here in Manchester, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to local gems, so we thought we’d put together a list of our favourite.

Here are our picks

  • 1. OBJECT, Chorlton

    Courtesy of OBJECT

    OBJECT, Chorlton, 519 Barlow Moor Rd, Manchester, M21 8QA - Visit now

    Tiny but beautiful. Top of our list is Object in Chorlton, founded entirely upon the values of quality, craftsmanship and simplicity.

  • 2. Paramount Books

    Paramount Books book shop in Manchester
    Per Gosche via Flickr

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

    Probably the only place in Manchester where you can pay in either pounds or euros (bar the airport) and get a free piece of fruit with every purchase to boot; Paramount Books is an eclectic Aladdin’s cave stuffed to the ceiling with second-hand books, dusty magazines and miscellaneous vinyl.

  • 3. Moth, Didsbury

    Moth, independent shopping in Manchester

    Moth, Didsbury, 154 Burton Rd, Manchester, M20 1LH - Visit now

    Owned by stylist and interior designer Hazel, Moth offers a meticulously curated selection of handmade jewellery, accessories, homeware and gifts. There’s usually a deliciously scented candle on the go too.

  • 4. Manchester Craft & Design Centre

    Manchester Craft & Design Centre, 17 Oak St, Northern Quarter, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 5JD - Visit now

    Nestled away in the very heart of Manchester’s independent-central Northern Quarter, this is the place to head if you prefer to actually meet the person who made the beautiful scarf or earthenware jug you have your eye on.

  • 5. Form Lifestyle Store

    Courtesy of Form Lifestyle Store

    Form Lifestyle Store, 6 Bradley Street, Manchester, M1 1EH - Visit now

    Founded by a couple with a passion for excellent craftsmanship and perfectly-formed products. Though it may sound intuitive, Form Lifestyle Store encourages its customers to buy less rather than more, by choosing items that will last and be cherished.

  • 6. Fig and Sparrow

    Fig and Sparrow © Jan Dixon

    Fig and Sparrow, 20 Oldham Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 1JN - Visit now

    Serving up a stylish selection of locally-produced gifts, cards and homeware, as well as great coffee and cake.

  • 7. 49 Hilton Street

    Courtesy of Beaumont Organic

    49 Hilton Street, 49 Hilton Street, Manchester, M1 2EF - Visit now

    49 Hilton Street is as much about ethically sourced, conscious consumerism as exemplary craft and style. Offering a wide selection of luxury artisan homeware, clothing and accessories, as well as lifestyle workshops.

  • 8. Magma Books

    Image of Magma bookshop in Manchester

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

    A bright, shiny treasure trove of beautiful art, culture and design publications, plus an unrivalled selection of limited-edition t-shirts, temporary tattoos, upside down plant pots and plenty more besides.

  • 9. Oi Polloi

    Oi Polloi

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

    Voted Manchester’s finest independent boutique by GQ Magazine and named style pioneer by the Guardian, Oi Polloi has one of the most covetable selections of classic and contemporary designer menswear around.

  • 10. Altrincham Market

    Image courtesy of Altrincham Market

    Altrincham Market, Market Street / Greenwood Street, Altrincham, Greater Manchester, WA14 1SA - Visit now

    ‘Passionately regional. Fiercely independent.’ As well as being a food-lover’s paradise, Altrincham Market’s themed weekends are also ideal for picking up unique handmade jewellery, homeware and craft from some of the North West’s finest local suppliers.

  • 11. Chorlton Bookshop

    Chorlton Bookshop

    Chorlton Bookshop, 506 Wilbraham Road, Manchester, M21 9AW - Visit now

    One of the few bookshops that still meets all of the essential ‘proper bookshop’ criteria: irresistibly cosy, extremely friendly staff, jam-packed with books, and no third-floor Costa!

  • 12. Oklahoma

    Image of Oklahoma shop in Manchester's Northern Quarter
    Ben Williams

    Oklahoma, 74-76 High Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1ES - Visit now

    Manchester’s biggest independent gift shop, selling everything from fish-shaped plastic pens and vintage dominoes, to two-metre folding rulers and monochrome lamplights by local designers.

  • 13. Fred Aldous

    © Fred Aldous

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

    Nearly 130 years old and still going strong, Fred Aldous is Manchester’s one-stop-shop for high-quality art, craft and design supplies. Full of inspiration and creative ideas across its three-floors.