Times have changed at The Royal Exchange. Once a commodities exchange for cotton and textiles and granted its title over 125 years ago by Queen Victoria, in recent years it’s become something of a luxury retail hub.
This stunning building offers architecture to be admired and some of the best shops in town selling some of the most exclusive and indulgent brands around.
Whether you’re looking to treat yourself to a little bit of luxury or shopping for a special gift for a loved one to show them how much they mean to you, look no further than The Royal Exchange.
Its vast selection of premium brands have everything you need to indulge in the best of luxury retail. Here’s a flavour of what to expect:
You can smell the goodness from a mile away. The sweet scents of the colourful bath bombs, silky smooth skincare and cruelty-free luxuries spill out onto the street, enticing you to step inside. And this store is special. It’s one of only three Naked Lush stores in the world, which means there is absolutely zero plastic packaging in the entire shop. An organic alternative to high-street products, why not treat yourself and treat the planet too! And you can even watch the products being made in store.
Say goodbye to beige brogues and block colour high-heels and say hello to fluffy flip-flops and metallic trainers. If you’re looking for something a little more out of the ordinary, Irregular Choice is the store for you. The store offers a colourful selection of shoes for men, women and children – in some of the most striking styles you could dream of. Setting foot in the store, you are immediately greeted by feathers, flowers, sequins and glitter featuring every colour of the rainbow. There are even special Disney editions available, so you can strut around in Buzz Lightyear or Dumbo style shoes.
The Whisky Shop
Tucked away on the corner of The Royal Exchange, The Whisky Shop is home to hundreds of bottles of the good stuff. The largest whisky specialist in the UK, different shades of brown line the shelves, with labels such as Johnnie Walker and Monkey Shoulder standing proudly together. The Whisky Shop doesn’t just offer the most popular and premium brands of whisky and scotch, but also a collection of rare, vintage whiskies for you to take home.
The popular destination for whiskey lovers even sells themed limited edition bottles, with a Game of Thrones whiskey currently taking centre stage. Whether you’re an expert or an amateur, the Whisky Shop has something for you and will even let you try before you buy.
Hailing all the way from Vancouver, Canada, lululemon sell breathable athletic apparel for budding yogis, runners and fitness fanatics. Promising more than just a retail destination where you can buy gear to sweat in, lululemon has created a community hub where people can learn and discuss healthy living and fitness.
Originally starting out just selling yoga wear for women, the brand soon developed and thanks to their customers, ambassadors and elite athletes, they now design sportswear for yoga, running, cycling, training and most other sweaty activities you can think of.
Often dubbed a ‘life-size jewellery box’, Jenny Jones is home to jewels and gems galore. Emeralds, rubies and diamonds glitter in every corner of the store.
Featuring modern brands such as Daisy London and Kit Heath, as well as vintage pieces from as far back as the Victorian times, Jenny Jones has been a part of Manchester’s retail scene for over 40 years, offering a range of jewellery for every occasion. Jenny Jones is the place to go for the most beautiful accessories.
Lanigan and Hulme
If you’re looking to get suited and booted, Lanigan and Hulme is the perfect destination. The store prides itself in using the highest quality materials and ensures every piece they sell is made to perfection. Lannigan and Hulme sell a varied selection of British brands that boast both style and durability, combining the innovative and traditional to offer one of the finest premium menswear collections in Manchester.
What do dedicated hikers and trendy hipsters have in common? Fjallraven’s iconic backpacks of course. Chances are you’ve seen people sporting the latest fashion craze around town. We’ve even seen one or two backpacks pop up at I Love MCR HQ.
Born in a place where mountains and forest meet the sea, Fjallraven started in the small town of Örnsköldsvik in Sweden. The growing outdoor clothing and equipment brand is 100% committed to making nature accessible to all – and in true Swedish style, they focus on simplicity and practicality, with the utmost respect for the environment in every aspect of what they do.
Watches of Switzerland
If the watch on your wrist matters to you, Watches of Switzerland’s Royal Exchange Arcade showroom hold some of the very latest collections. They say you can tell a lot about a person by the watch they wear on their wrist. Watches of Switzerland understand that when it comes to high calibre watches, individual taste is paramount. If you’re looking for an iconic timepiece that will make you stand out from the crowd, they even have dedicated Rolex and Jaeger-LeCoultre boutiques.
Starting on the markets of Provence with just a small truck and a knowledge of plants, 23-year-old Olivier Baussan distilled rosemary essential oil to sell locally. Expanding the business from oils to soaps and creams, the business took inspiration from nature.
L’occitane shows off the very best that Provence has to offer. Promising a glowing beauty, they use all naturally sourced ingredients in their many products while also committing to selling sustainable products that help preserve the natural environment.
Everybody needs a little bit of sparkle in their life. If that’s an area you’re lacking in, accept no imposters. Swarovski is the industry leading crystal cutting jewellery and accessories brand, priding itself on its passion for innovation and design. Every day, new cuts, shades and sizes are created and every piece tells a story. Today, the family-run business with over 120 years of expert craftsmanship still carries on the tradition of creating extraordinary pieces in crystal.
This is just a taster of what to expect when you visit The Royal Exchange Manchester. See you there.