Outside of London, Manchester is one of the best cities in the UK for shopping. Alongside all of the high street favourites you’ll also find designer department stores, vintage treasure troves and an impressive variety of independent clothing shops. However, it’s not all fashion as the city is also home to record stores, homeware shops, and an increasing array of hip independent stores selling everything from house plants to stationary. Read on for our selection of the best independent stores worth taking the trip to Manchester for.
Fig & Sparrow, Northern Quarter
Located in the heart of the Northern Quarter on Oldham Street, Fig & Sparrow’s café space may be slowly taking over their shelves but they’ve still dedicated a small area to displaying hand-picked gifts and cute cards. This is the perfect place to head if you’re searching for a unique gift for a friend or have a penchant for organic soap and glass picture frames. Combine your shopping trip with coffee and cake in their popular café, keeping your fingers crossed that the highly coveted window seat is free.
If you’re seeking stylish stationary, organic beauty products, fragrant soy candles or minimal jewellery, Idaho is well worth the tram ride out to Altrincham. Owner Amy has carefully curated a selection of gifts that are all well designed and unique to the area with a focus placed on ethical brands such as Nathalie Bond and Meraki. The store itself is beautifully designed with a slightly Scandinavian aesthetic and wooden walls, opening up to the award-winning Altrincham market on its doorstep.
You may not associate north Manchester with exciting concept stores, but Nonsense has proven popular since opening its doors in Prestwich last year. The emphasis is on well-designed products and unique gifts, with plenty of plants and accompanying pots on display. There’s also a small café inside the shop serving coffee and cake and an extensive programme of creative workshops on offer.
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Capsule Womenswear Collection at Object | Courtesy of Object
Combining womenswear, menswear, plants and Scandinavian-inspired home accessories, Object describes itself as a ‘neighbourhood store’ located in the leafy suburb of Chorlton. Inside, it may be small but owners Rachel and Alex curate an impeccably styled collection of products from all around the world. You’ll find Lithuanian linen jumpsuits, Japanese ceramics, locally sourced succulents and Alex’s own range of men’s shirts alongside an impressive selection of independent magazines.
If homeware is your thing, make the short journey out of the city centre to visit Rose & Grey’s only showroom. Here you’ll find five styled ‘rooms’ filled with a selection of their beautiful furniture and home accessories including vibrantly hued velvet sofas, mid-century Modern armchairs and statement mirrors. Even those on a small budget will be able to walk away with a piece of stylish kitchenware, a bouquet of Abigail Ahern faux flowers or a highly covetable P.F candle.