Manchester we all know is a city defined by sport, but when it comes to fashion and art, there is no better place for retail therapy than this sporty town itself, starting from the New Cannon Street Mall, the one and only Harvey Nichols, the Victorian Barton Arcade, and of course the largest and oldest designer outlet, Cheshire Oaks.
If this is the first time you hear of these names, stay tuned as this extensive guide helps you find out what shopping in Manchester is all about. That way, the next time you visit this wonderful city you'll know where to look for designer brands, independent boutiques, restaurants, hotels, cafes, and shopping centers.
What sounds even better are the convenient locations of all the best shopping places. Using public transport will get you anywhere in minutes, so you can really shop 'til you drop. And don't forget to leave your backpacks and heavy bags at one of our Manchester luggage storage spots so you can carry your shopping bags full of Manchester goodies with ease!
Best Shopping Centers in Manchester
Located west of Manchester city center is Trafford Centre, a mall every serious shopper should get to. This humongous shopping center guarantees an excellent shopping experience along with a multiplex cinema, a great selection of food in the massive food court, and plenty of art pieces scattered around the mall, including marble pillars and oddly enough, a cruise ship.
Expect to spend a minimum of three hours while you wander around over 200 hundred shops. If you want to take your shopping experience to a new level, spend some time in the SEA LIFE Aquarium or take your kids to the Legoland Discovery Centre. Later on, you can continue shopping at some of the best high street shops in the UK, like Selfridges, John Lewis, and many designer brands including Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, and Lacoste.
Shopping at Trafford Centre, one of the best shopping centers in Manchester, is serious retail therapy that will keep your spirits high for months.
Location: Regent Crescent, Greater Manchester, M17 8AA
Hours: Monday–Friday from 10 am - 10 pm, Saturday from 10 am - 9 pm, Sunday from 12 pm - 6 pm
Manchester Arndale Centre
Hop off at the train at Manchester Piccadilly and head in the direction of Manchester Arndale. Open in 1975, this 1.3 million square feet shopping center is open to all shoppers, whether you are on a tight budget or looking for luxury shopping. The mall boasts 3 floors with 210 stores in total, offering anything from street fashion and luxury brands to electronics stores, toy stores like the Disney Store, book stores, gift shops, jewelry stores, and more! The Arndale is also one of the biggest shopping malls in Europe, which makes it even more exciting for serious shoppers like you.
Like most shopping malls in the city, Arndale Centre boasts plenty of food options for hungry visitors. You can find mixed cuisine from fast food like Subway and Taco Bell, to sushi places, classic diners, and Italian restaurants but also plenty of juice bars and cafes. For those with a sweet tooth, there are many sweet shops like Waffle Island and Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
Location: Manchester Arndale, Manchester, M4 3AQ
Hours: Monday–Saturday from 8 am -8 pm, Sunday from 11.30 - to 5.30 pm
Best Department Stores in Manchester
John Lewis & Partners
John Lewis is one of the biggest department stores in Manchester. Located in the Trafford Shopping Center, this two floors store offers a wide range of fashion goods, home and garden, beauty, electricals, furniture, baby products, sport and leisure, and a lot more. While you are there, check out some of their services like the Personal Styling for all occasions & The Style Studio or Le Nails for a good manicure after you are done shopping.
Have your gifts wrapped at the Gift Wrapping Service or grab a bite at the Place To Eat where breakfast is served until 11.30 am and hot food until 3 pm. This department store is a perfect place to visit on your shopping trip to Manchester!
Location: The Trafford Centre Peel Avenue Manchester M17 8JL
Hours: Monday-Friday from 10 am - 10 pm, Saturday 10 am - 9 pm, Sunday 12 am - 8 pm, but open for browsing from 11.30 am
House of Fraser
Located in the city center, House of Fraser is one of the oldest and best department stores you will find in Manchester. There is something for everyone here. Whether you are looking for luxury brands, fragrances, cosmetics, houseware, electronics, beauty treatments, or you simply want to dine in the award-winning Italian restaurant San Carlo Cicchetti, this branch has all that and more! At Christmas, the department store lights up beautifully attracting visitors from all over the world, making the season even more magical than it already is.
This luxury department store also offers services such as a complimentary personal shopping service that will make your shopping experience extra special.
Location: Deansgate, Manchester, M3 2QG
Hours: Monday-Friday from 9.30 am - 8 pm, Saturday 9 am- 8 pm, Sunday 11 am - 8 pm
Best Outlets in Manchester
Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet
This massive designer outlet is not only the first but it's also the largest designer outlet in the UK. With over 140 boutiques offering a wide range of brands such as Marks & Spencer, Polo, Burberry, Hugo Boss, Nike, and Adidas, as well as plenty of coffee shops and restaurants, spending a day in this shopping village is exactly what the doctor recommended. Your retail therapy can even include your puppy as most stores allow dogs in. Expect to find an excellent variety of shops in the Cheshire Oaks outlet offering discounted items up to 75%, so be sure to pick up a good bargain at any of the stores.
The Cheshire Oaks designer outlet is a great space for a family shopping day out. For the kids, there is a carousel and a new playground area too, to entertain the young ones with many exciting activities. Really, there is so much to do and see in this designer outlet that you will barely have the time to cover it all in just one visit. Continue your budget-friendly day with excursions to free things to do in Manchester.
Location: Kinsey Road, Ellesmere Port, CH65 9JJ
Hours: Monday-Sunday 10 am-6 pm with some larger stores opening 11 am-5 pm on Sundays
Best Vintage Stores and Markets in Manchester
If you are looking for vintage items but don't want to wander around an entire area, don't worry, as Afflecks (once known as Affleck's Palace) is a great place to find everything you are looking for. Located on Tib Street, close to Debenhams, you will find this extraordinary indoor market with 70 shops that offer more than just vintage. Shop for unique and handmade creations from independent designers, at a great value.
Once you are done, have a drink at one of the cafes in the building, or head down to the Ginger’s Comfort Emporium ice cream parlor. While you are there, why not take advantage of the hair salon for a complete retail therapy session. If you happen to be there on the weekend, even better!
The vintage fashion market on Tib Street boasts a wide range of items starting from retro and vintage items to some pretty exquisite, handmade crafts and unique jewelry far from what you see at any shopping center in Manchester.
Location: 52 Church St, Manchester M4 1PW
Open: Monday–Friday from 10.30 am-6 pm, Saturday from 10 am - 6 pm, Sunday from 11 am -5 pm
Manchester Arndale Market
Walking around Manchester city center you will come across a wonderful market that is open every day of the week. Further down the Arndale Centre, the Manchester Arndale Market is one of the best places in Manchester where you can find some of the best fresh and exotic food, fish and craft beer, and a mix of international cuisines for the hungriest visitors.
Browse through a wide range of clothing, gifts, phones, jewelry, handbags, and accessories that range from low price to high end. But more than being prepared to empty your wallet, be ready for a busier and more buzzing atmosphere than your usual market.
Location: 49 High Street, Manchester M4 3AH England
Hours: Monday-Saturday from 9.30 am - 6.30 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm
Best Shopping Areas in Manchester
Walking the streets of Manchester you will find some of the best big name brands in the world, exclusive boutiques, luxury hotels, and many top-notch bars and restaurants. Here are just a few of the high streets and other shopping areas in Manchester where you can shop til you drop.
The Northern Quarter
If you are looking for a completely different shopping experience than the usual malls, high street fashion, and designer names, take a walk around the Northern Quarter. This neighborhood starts from Piccadilly Gardens and ends at the Ancoats, and it's filled with independent shops, offering you some unique shopping experience in a relaxed boho atmosphere.
You will find anything from vintage vinyl records, independent magazines, and book stores, independent boutiques selling indie and boho fashion items, quirky gift shops, and anything you don't get to see often in the shopping centers. Strolling around the area you will also come across many bars, restaurants, and independent art galleries too. When the shopping wears you out, take a seatt in one of the new bars and enjoy the relaxed bohemian neighborhood with a drink.
The Northern Quarter makes for a great day out shopping where you can end up with lots of great deals on unique items everyone will be jealous of. It is by far the best shopping in Manchester.
Location: Northern Quarter, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1HQ
New Cathedral Street
For those looking for some high-end luxury street shopping, New Cathedral Street on Exchange Square is exactly what you need. With retailers like Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Marks & Spencer, and other upscale department stores as well as famous designer names like Ted Baker, Hugo Boss, and Louis Vuitton, but also small independent boutiques, New Cathedral Street offers the best high street shopping in town. Start with a lovely brunch, and then take your time in the shops.
Location: New Cathedral Street, Manchester M1 1BD
What used to be a street full of large banks in the 20th century, today is an area filled with expensive shops ideal for ardent followers of the latest fashion. With shops like Hermes, Agent Provocateur, Mulberry, Armani, and Polo Ralph Lauren, this shopping area in central Manchester, which is also one of the most important thoroughfares of the city center, will have your budget hanging by a thread.
Grab a drink or a bite to eat at one of the restaurants on King Street. Have a few cocktails at Kala Bistro, tapas and more drinks at the El Gato Negro Tapas Manchester, or try Mr. Thomas's Chop House for some British food and ale. You won't be disappointed.
Location: King Street, Manchester M34 6HE
Market Street is the main shopping area in Manchester that stretches from Piccadilly Gardens to Cross Street and St. Ann's Square. Expect nothing less but a great shopping experience on Market Street followed by top-notch restaurants and cafes to satisfy any appetite. The most famous shopping on Market Street happens at Debenhams Department Store, but you will find the best of the best designer brands and luxury boutiques, as well as the more budget-friendly Primark, Marks & Spencer, Selfridges, BHS and more!
The Food Market to Shopping Under One Roof
Visiting Manchester is an experience that you will never forget. But shopping in the city is what makes the trip even more memorable. Starting from the famous shopping centers like the Trafford Centre and the luxury shopping at Exchange Square, High Street and Cross Street to the diverse Northern Quarter and vintage shopping at Affleck's, a shopping trip to Manchester will be as good as it sounds!