If you’re thinking of taking a few hours out to do some shopping during your stay in Manchester, it might be worth considering extending your stay, the sheer variety of shops and independent retailers makes it a difficult place to cover in a short amount of time.
Smart bargain-hunters will head straight to one place as soon as they arrive in the city; Salford Quays, where The Lowry outlet mall can be found. More than eighty stores sell excess stock for anything up to sixty percent off, from clothing to footwear, beauty products and home furnishings, The Lowry has it all at bargain prices for the savvy shopper. It also houses an eight screen cinema complex, a health club and nine different food outlets.
Another shopping hotspot in Manchester is the Arndale complex. This 240 strong collection of retailers is rapidly expanding to almost twice it’s original size, and is currently the largest city-centre shopping mall in the UK. Every Christmas, The Manchester Arndale welcomes thousands and thousands of shoppers looking for that perfect gift, and there’s plenty to chose from. All the big names are there; Topshop, River Island, USC, as well as the largest Next store in the world.
Outside of the large shopping centres, Manchester also boasts a booming trade in eclectic independent stores, packed with vintage and hand made pieces. Afflecks, Retro Rehab and Cow are just a few of the gems to be found if you’re willing to step away from well known brands. You can also check out the fantastic Oxfam Originals, a special branch of the charity company that is dedicated to vintage clothing.
From charity to designer, high-end names like Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Karen Millen all have branches in Manchester’s fashion district, catering to the trend-conscious shoppers. But If you’re wanting something more fashionable without the designer price tag, stop off at the Vintage Fashion Market which operates once a month and houses rare, retro items at a fraction of the price.
One more shopping centre worth a mention is The Trafford Centre, just a short journey out of the city centre, and you can stroll along three miles of marble and granite boulevards, with a massive 230 shops to explore – everything from designer to high street chains, there’s just so much to see. In addition, it also has more than sixty cafes, bars, and restaurants for when you’re all shopped out.