Regulars

Freshers’ Week: A devoted shopper’s guide to Manchester

By Felicity Robertson

New to Manchester? Here’s MM’s round-up of the best places to shop so those of you here on Freshers’ Week know where to head if you feel like a spending spree (we’ve thrown in the bargain places to help out!).

Known as the ‘retail capital of the North’, Manchester boasts a wide variety of shops. Each area has its own identity, with Manchester Arndale catering for high street lovers, King Street for designer label fans.

Whether you like vintage one-off pieces or a good high street bargain, this guide aims to find the right district for you.


Manchester Arndale (Topshop, Next, River Island, Republic, Fossil, New Look, Bank, Jane Norman, Lipsy, Warehouse, Oasis, Coast, Foot Asylum…)

The Uk’s biggest inner shopping centre has over 38 million visitors a year.

Appealing to high-street buyers this shopping centre has a plethora of stores.

It attracts people of all age groups with shops such as Next, Wallis and Coast for the older audience as well as New Look, Topshop and River Island for younger people.

Expect typical high-street prices but there are some bargains to be had in shops such as Bank and Republic where concessions feature expensive looking items for under £30. Suzanna Gragorora, Trafford, brands Manchester Arndale her favourite place to shop saying: “It is not too big inside and is undercover for the bad weather.”


Market Street is the main high street in Manchester. (BHS, Debenhams, TK Maxx, Primark, H&M, Mango, Urban Outfitters, American Apparel)

Located next to the newly refurbished Arndale, it offers several department stores as well as some lower priced high street stores.

If you enjoy routing and fancy a bargain, Market Street has the UK’s largest Primark where you can find a new outfit for about £20. There is also cut price store, TK Maxx where you can delve for a good deal.

In a stone’s throw from Piccadilly station, Market Street has two of the most popular department stores. Both Debenhams and BHS are situated over three floors and you can buy practically any item imaginable.


New Cathedral Street is an upmarket pedestrianised street. ( Hobbs, Zara, LK Bennett, Radley, Ugg, Ted Baker, Hugo Boss, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Reiss…)

If you have lots of money to spend this is the place for you. New Cathedral Street has designer stores mixed in with top-end high street shops.

It offers ‘high end affordable fashion’ for those who have a couple or triple hundred of pounds to spend.

King Street is the upmarket end of town presenting some of the same shops as New Cathedral Street. (Kew, DKNY, Mulberry, Cath Kidston, Hobbs, Jones, Karen Millen, Emporio Armani, Jaeger, Calvin Klein Jeans…)

For the more affluent audience it has numerous designer labels such as quirky Cath Kidston, luxurious Mulberry and stylish Max Mara.

If you like classic styles and have money to burn come here to buy yourself some amazing goodies.


The Triangle is a hidden secret to most

Situated between The Arndale Centre and New Cathedral Street it is sometimes overseen.

There are several unique shops such as East, Jigsaw and Aspecto. Perhaps not the most popular place in Manchester, you can find some treasures such as individual pieces of Jewellery from East and beautiful knitwear from Jigsaw.

Shops range in price, and it is often a favourite of the older generation as much as those younger.


The Northern Quarter

Manchester’s equivalent of Brick Lane attracts trendy fashionistas who like an individual, vintage style. Home to the famous Affleck’s Palace, it entices an alternative crowd.

There are numerous boutiques such as From Rags to Riches, Pop Boutique and Junk.

If you enjoy musty smells, battered leather and old denim, come here. Prices range from dirt cheap to hugely expensive but the beauty of the Northern Quarter is that for the most part the stores are independently owned.

 There is an arty vibe and the area is becoming increasingly popular with people of all ages.

Manchester’s reputation is growing rapidly appealing to the mass audience. Whether you have tonnes of money or are on a tight budget you can find something that suits you.

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