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Need some Christmas gift inspiration? If you’re in Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow or Sheffield, why not shop at one of the following fantastic local independent retailers? From homemade treats to items unique to your city, you’ll find a bounty of beautiful presents that’ll definitely put a smile on your loved ones’ faces. And if you can’t get there in person, you can always check out their online shops.
The Northern Powerhouse is absolutely brimming with great independent shops where you can buy all manner of wonderful gifts. Why not make a beeline for:
Just behind the Arndale Centre on High Street, fun Oklahoma is your one-stop-shop for all things unique. As well as cool cards and colourful stationery, you’ll also be able to pick up homewares, books, furnishings and stocking fillers made by local designers and creatives.
Want some one-of-a-kind decorations for your tree? Oklahoma has pom-pom garlands and tons of original ornaments. You can also shop for everything online, giving you no excuse not to stock up on locally designed presents.
Another shop that’s teeming with great gifts is Fred Aldous. It’s been one of Manchester’s top independent stores for well over a decade. Located on Lever Street (as well as online), you’ll discover the top floor is bursting with stationery, homewares, games and house plants, while the lower ground floor is a warren of art supplies. Got someone creative in the family? Look no further for painting/calligraphy/knitting supplies.
If you’re buying for people with wildly different tastes, Afflecks is a good bet. A self-proclaimed emporium of eclecticism, it sits on the fringes of the trendy Northern Quarter and features floor after floor of small, independently run stores.
Music fanatics will love a gift from Vinyl Resting Place, while The Little Niche is full of one-off clothing, accessories and soft furnishings. Star Wars obsessive in the family? Gift them something from Star Wars Man.
Liverpool is another city that’s well-known for its independents. As well as loads of locally run restaurants, you’ll discover dozens of quirky shops ideal for picking up a few presents. They include:
Red Brick Market
Nestled right next to the popular Baltic Market food market, Red Brick Market is a great shout for Christmas gift buying. Typically open seven days a week, it’s rammed to the rafters with independent stores selling everything from vintage clothing to rare comic books and homemade dog treats.
If you’ve got family members who are very house proud, they’ll love something from Utility. The hip home store has been running since 1999 and sells a diverse collection of design-led furnishings and homewares. From trendy kitchen accessories to practical items for home offices, you’ll be able to browse brilliant options at one of two stores in the city centre or on Utility’s online shop.
Liverpool Cheese Company
Know someone who’s crazy about cheese? We don’t blame them! Gift them something that’ll really get their tastebuds going by shopping at the Liverpool Cheese Company. The independent business has a small store in Woolton which sells everything from Cornish kern to truffle-infused gouda. Or why not select your cheeses of choice online? There’s also crackers, chutneys and wine to pair with them.
Scotland’s second city has a great shopping scene – especially when it comes to independently owned and run stores. You’ll find places all over the city, including:
Who doesn’t love a scented candle at Christmas? The perfect thing to keep your home cosy, you’ll spot loads of lovely options at Shearer Candles. The oldest independent candle company in the UK, they’re based right in the heart of the action on Byres Road. Shop candles, diffusers and wax melts in Scottish-inspired scents and appropriately festive aromas.
The Hidden Lane
If you’re keen to shop for a few people in one place, The Hidden Lane in Finnieston is the spot for you. This is one of Glasgow’s best hubs for independent businesses and it features both shops and artists’ workshops. You’re bound to find something unique and creative, whether that’s a print from Porteous & Co or a rare book from Burning House Books.
Shopping local couldn’t be easier in Sheffield thanks to the city’s love of indie businesses. Make a plan to do your Christmas shopping at these fantastic venues:
Buying for little ones this year? Trapeze Kids on Sharrowvale Road stocks gorgeous children’s clothing from loads of ethical brands, plus truly wonderful books with eye-catchingly vibrant covers. If the kids you’re gifting to aren’t quite at the reading stage yet, browse exquisitely crafted toys made from only the best materials.
Boasting present ideas from a whole range of independent brands, Bird’s Yard is an awesome place to put on your Christmas shopping agenda. It’s located on Chapel Walk (although there’s an online shop, too) and sells a huge mix of items. If you’re looking for something specifically Sheffield related, pick up some themed wall art or a mug featuring a band who were born and bred in the city.
Like to shop with the planet in mind? Good Taste is a brilliant place to choose presents which are all responsibly sourced and made. As well as fair trade foodie gifts, you’ll discover greeting cards, clothing, accessories, homeware and jewellery which have all been made by independent artisans. Good Taste is not for profit too, with all proceeds going straight to charity.
If you’d like to support some independent businesses this Christmas, shop local whether that’s in store or online. And if you are travelling this Christmas, stay safe onboard our trains by wearing a face mask (unless exempt), keeping your distance and travelling at quieter times.