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 favourites.

Our top picks

Deadstock General Store

Deadstock General Store, 46 Edge St, Manchester, M4 1HN - Visit now

This small shop has a well curated range of stock that focuses on vintage homeware and gifts. From Japanese hemp socks, to botanical paperweights and HAWS plant misters, each object is beautiful, practical and well made. A great place to browse and buy unusual presents.

Deadstock General Store
Deadstock General Store

Rivet and Hide Manchester

Rivet and Hide Manchester, 59 Thomas Street, Manchester, M4 1NA - Visit now

Manchester’s newest destination for denimheads, Rivet and Hide stocks a collection of quality, Americana-inspired men’s casual wear and raw selvedge denim – including prized Japanese brands like Momotaro, The Flat Head, and Pure Blue Japan.

Rivet and Hide
Rivet and Hide

Utility Gift Shop

Utility Gift Shop, 128 Oxford Road, University Green, Manchester, M139GP - Visit now

Utility Gift Shop is all about unique, quirky and cool products, all created with top-class design features as a priority. You’ll find a superb range of the very best in contemporary products, taking in cards, jewellery, gifts, home accessories and much more.

Utility Gift Shop
Utility Retail Ltd

Paramount Books

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.

Paramount Books book shop in Manchester
Per Gosche via Flickr

Moth, Didsbury

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.

Moth, independent shopping in Manchester

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.

Manchester Craft and Design Centre by Joel C Fildes.
Manchester Craft and Design Centre by Joel C Fildes.

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.

Courtesy of Form Lifestyle Store

Fig and Sparrow

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.

Fig and Sparrow © Jan Dixon

49 Hilton Street

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.

Courtesy of Beaumont Organic

Magma Books

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.

Image of Magma bookshop in Manchester

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.

Oi Polloi

Altrincham Market

Altrincham Market, 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.

Altrincham Market
Image courtesy of Altrincham Market

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!

Chorlton Bookshop

Where to go in Manchester

Village Books

Village Books on Oxford Street is a cultural utopia. Offering a selection of contemporary art, design, fashion and photography.

House of Books & Friends

Playing a powerful role in the community, this venue functions as a bookshop, café and place to meet and chat with likeminded individuals.

Bags of Flavour

Bags of Flavour is the Northern Quarter’s answer to high end vintage with high quality exclusive garments and accessories.


Every piece in IDAHO has something special and will guarantee to make your homes, offices and wardrobes feel a little more inspiring.

Want Not Waste

Want Not Waste is a student-run, not-for-profit zero waste shop operating out of Academy 1 at the University of Manchester Students’ Union.

Ancoats General Store

Ancoats General Store serves the local community as a sustainability-focused convenience store stocking craft products, locally-sourced wares and top tier vegan produce.

Goodness Zero Waste

On a mission to help making a difference more convenient, Urmston’s Goodness Zero Waste is a great spot to shop sustainably for food, beauty and household products.

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