Whether you’re a beginner browser or a vinyl veteran, Manchester’s dizzying range of independent record shops guarantees a priceless treasure for every taste, and reinforces the city’s longstanding reputation as an international capital of music.

From old-school award-winners stocking Northern Soul classics to zany basement dens with 7″ deep cuts hidden amongst delirious assortments of bric-a-brac, here’s our breakdown of Manchester’s best independent record stores.

Piccadilly Records | Oldham Street

Known among collectors as one of the world’s best vinyl stockists, Piccadilly Records has won several awards, including Music Week’s Best Independent Record Store, and frequently features on countless newspaper rankings – topping The Independent’s list of Britain’s 50 Best Record Stores. Selling everything from indie to Balearic on vinyl and CD, the city centre lynchpin remains Manchester’s first port of call for enthusiasts around the globe.

53 Oldham St, Manchester, M1 1JR, Tel: 0161 839 8008
Vinyl Revival | Hilton Street

Situated between Tib Street and Oldham Street, next-door-but-one to Rustica, Northern Quarter mainstay Vinyl Revival contains a vast – and ever-growing – inventory of records, CDs, posters and t-shirts largely celebrating Manchester music, from world-famous bands to underrepresented newcomers. Alongside the best of local talent, Vinyl Revival also stocks an impressive selection of punk, reggae, soul, hip-hop, rock, electro, house, 50s and 60s records both in store and online.

5 Hilton St, Manchester, M4 1LP, Tel: 0161 661 6393
Vinyl Exchange | Oldham Street

With two floors of CDs and records spanning ultra-rare deep cuts, chart-topping one-off prints and everything in between, the North West’s largest seller of second-hand LPs and DVDs offers an endless collection of vinyl across virtually every genre. Open on Oldham Street since 1988, Manchester’s biggest pre-loved music emporium prides itself on customer loyalty through resolutely fair pricing, with thousands of cheap, pristine records available at their store and in their colossal online shop.

18 Oldham St, Manchester, M1 1JN, Tel: 0161 228 1122
Sifters | Burnage

Open on Fog Lane since 1983, the Gallagher Brothers’ favourite record shop – as namechecked in their 1994 single, Shakermaker – sells an extensive array of CDs and vinyl across every genre to South Manchester’s music enthusiasts while doubling as a daily place of pilgrimage for Oasis fanatics from around the world. Sifters also happily buys old records for an astonishingliy good price.

177 Fog Ln, Manchester, M20 6FJ, Tel: 0161 445 8697
Reel Around the Fountain | Stretford Mall

Named after The Smiths single from their eponymous first album, Reel Around the Fountain offers an unfussy yet limitlessly knowledgeable service from a Stretford Mall unit packed with secondhand treasures and jaw-dropping rarities. A hidden favourite of clued-up collectors around the area, RATF can be found on the second floor of the centre, opposite Tesco in the main shopping section.

Upper Unit 41-42 Stretford Mall, Chester Road, Manchester, M32 9BB, Tel: 07752 199875
Empire Exchange | Hilton Street

Less a record shop than an Alexandrian Library of chaotic miscellany, the cavernous time capsule just off Piccadilly Gardens stocks every genre in almost every format as well as buckling shelves of CDs, walls of unutterable magazines and countless other Lynchian oddities in one of Manchester’s last great shopping experiences. To find Empire Exchange, head to Newton Street and listen out for the music often blasting from their outdoor speakers.

1 Newton St, Manchester, M1 1HW, Tel: 0161 236 4445
King Bee | Chorlton

Home to thousands of new and used CDs and records in 7” and 12”, Chorlton’s beloved vinyl haven stocks everything from brand-new experimental singles to pricelessly well-kept Northern Soul rarities.

519 Wilbraham Rd, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, M21 0UF, Tel: 0161 860 4762
Beatin' Rhythm | Prestwich

Billed as the UK’s favourite seller of soul, including rare cuts of modern, funk and Northern, Prestwich record hub Beatin’ Rhythm boasts an exhaustive selection of classic LPs and new releases on 7” and 12” vinyl and CDs, alongside an incredible range of record boxes, merchandise, mugs and more.

1st Floor, Bank House Studios, Warwick St, Prestwich, Manchester M25 3HN, Tel: 0161 773 1589
Vinyl Resting Place | Afflecks

Located on the 3rd floor of Afflecks, renowned music outlet Vinyl Resting Place stocks every genre and format – even cassettes – across troves of deep cuts, new arrivals and classic staples for the novice collector.

3rd Floor, Afflecks, 52 Church St, Manchester M4 1PW
Clampdown | Paton Street

Manchester’s leading stockists of rock, punk, indie, funk, soul and jazz records, the Back Piccadilly vinyl specialists operate with the certainty that customers will strike gold when parsing their shelves for out-of-print LPs, CDs, DVDs, tapes and even books. For anyone with their own ‘interesting rarity’, Clampdown also pay on-the-spot cash for a worthwhile collectible.

9-11 Paton St, Manchester, M1 2BA, Tel: 0161 237 5932
Eastern Bloc | Stevenson Square

A beloved fixture of Stevenson Square since 2011, cultural cornerstone Eastern Bloc began as a collector’s paradise in Afflecks Palace and grew quickly into an epicentre of the local music landscape. Established in 1985 by 808 State’s John Berry and Martin Price, ‘E Bloc’ propelled bands like Inspiral Carpets, The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays to wider fame while distilling global dance influences into an embryonic Madchester scene. Today, E Bloc continues to specialise in electronic music on vinyl, from coveted collectibles to cutting-edge releases, while serving hand-roasted coffee and homemade cakes.

5a Stevenson Square, Manchester, M1 1DN, Tel: 0161 228 6555
Tasty Records | Altrincham

Now more than 10 years into its journey, Tasty Records has been serving the vinyl fans of Altrincham since 2013, abiding by an admirable mantra of not wanting to sell the most records, but to sell the best records. Inside, you’ll find exactly that, a sprawling curated collection that covers just about everything you could possibly ask for, and a few things that you had no idea you needed.

25 Regent Rd, Altrincham WA14 1RX
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Thu 15 Feb 2024