Shopping in Manchester

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Retail activity in Manchester centres on Manchester city centre. Historically, Manchester's shopping district was situated in the Northern Quarter area of the city centre until the opening of the Manchester Arndale in 1975. Manchester's retail industry is the fourth-largest in the United Kingdom behind London and narrowly Glasgow and Birmingham.[1]

City centre[edit]

Manchester Arndale[edit]

Market Street, Manchester.

Manchester Arndale is the sixth largest shopping centre in the United Kingdom and largest city centre shopping mall in the country with 148,600 square metres of retail floorspace. The Arndale opened in 1975 and the city's shopping district shifted from the Northern Quarter. Large tenants include Apple, Argos, BHS, Clas Ohlson, Currys PC World, Disney, Ernest Jones, Gio-Goi, Hollister, Henri Lloyd, H&M, H. Samuel, Jessops, Next, Office, Ryman, Schuh, Superdry, Superdrug, TK Maxx, Topshop, WH Smith and Waterstones.

Exchange Square[edit]

The Selfridges and Marks & Spencer building in Exchange Square.

Exchange Square is home to New Cathedral Street, Shambles Square and The Triangle shopping mall. New Cathedral Street, like King Street and Spinningfields consists of upmarket retailers including a Selfridges department store as well as Harvey Nichols, the largest Ted Baker and Hugo Boss stores outside London, Lacoste, Louis Vuitton, Reiss, Henri Lloyd, Massimo, Zara and Burberry (west side).

Shambles Square has historically been home to Manchester's 'Shambles' district, however much of this was destroyed during the Industrial Revolution upheaval and the Manchester Blitz. The Triangle (also known as Manchester Corn Exchange) was built a commodities exchange. After it outlived its requirement, the building was converted to a shopping market for independent retailers. Following the 1996 Manchester bombing, the building was converted as a shopping mall for retailers, but has struggled compared to other areas of the city centre. As of 2012, Manchester City Council are considering bringing the old Corn Exchange name back and creating a Covent Garden style market for independent retailers.[2][3]

King Street[edit]

Historically known for its links as the centre of the banking industry in Northern England, the street consists of historic buildings, most of which were built for banks. Examples include 53 King Street, Midland Bank Building, and the Former Bank of England Building. The street now has restaurants and upmarket retailers such as Hermès, Whistles, Gant, Karen Millen, Kookai, Emporio Armani, DKNY, Ted Baker, Jack Wills, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Diesel, Timberland, Calvin Klein Jeans, Polo Ralph Lauren, Max Mara, Adolfo Dominguez, Paul Smith, Jaeger, Agent Provocateur, Mulberry, Thomas Pink, Reiss, Crombie amongst others.

Northern Quarter[edit]

The Northern Quarter is known for its bohemian style, with many independent stores. The Northern Quarter is famous for Afflecks, an emporium described as "an emporium of eclecticism, a totem of indie commerce in Manchester’s Northern Quarter."[4] Formerly Afflecks was home to the Manchester department, Afflecks and Brown until it closed during the 1970s. The building now houses over 20 independent retailers.[5] The area around Afflecks also has numerous shops including vintage clothing stores, haberdasheries and vinyl exchanges. The area mostly attracts a shoppers and visitors of a younger demographic.[6]


Main article: Spinningfields

Spinningfields is a business and retail district in the western half of the city centre.[7] The district is generally home to upmarket retailers such as AllSaints, Armani, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, DKNY, Kurt Geiger, L.K.Bennett, Mulberry, Ted Baker and T. M. Lewin.[8]

Trafford Centre[edit]

The Trafford Centre is Manchester's out of town shopping centre, located 4 miles west of the city centre in the neighbouring borough of Trafford. The Centre is the second largest shopping centre in the United Kingdom and attracts 35 million visitors annually. Bus links exist from the city centre. A Manchester Metrolink has been proposed.

Manchester Fort[edit]

Manchester Fort is a retail park in the Cheetham Hill area of Manchester. The property includes 36 units with a total floorspace of 325,000 sq ft.


  1. ^ "Retail Footprint 2011 reveals Britain's shopping high flyers and low achievers". CACI. 2011. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  2. ^ "Covent Garden of North plan for Manchester's Triangle". BBC News. 14 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  3. ^ "The Triangle set to become 'Manchester's Covent Garden.'". Manchester Confidential. 19 October 2011. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  4. ^ "Afflecks". Afflecks. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  5. ^ "Afflecks - Our Shops". Afflecks. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  6. ^ "Guide to Manchester's Northern Quarter". Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  7. ^ "Spinningfields - Home". Spinningfields. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  8. ^ "Spinningfields - Shopping". Spinningfields. Retrieved 2012-09-18.