Unit 7, Barton Arcade, Deansgate
Owned by Ringspun and Elvis Jesus founder David Mallon, The General Store’s offer centres around three key streetwear brands: Ringspun, Elvis Jesus and Religion. Unlike many indies, which pride themselves on their clever editing skills, General Store buys deeply into its brands. Manager John Carr says: “By buying deep into the collections, we encourage loyalty among our customers because they know what to expect from us. The flip side is that it’s difficult to show much newness.”
But General Store has addressed this by introducing a new brand each quarter as part of an ongoing competition to promote up-and-coming labels. The shop selects its favourite and gives the brand a dedicated area in the 3,500 sq ft store and in the window. In return, the store gets an exclusive collection. Womenswear brand Pretty Disturbia is the current incumbent.
General Store will launch a transactional website at the end of the year, although Carr says the indie must ensure it replicates its individuality online. He adds: “Outside London, Manchester is the fashion capital. It’s a city influenced by music. As long as indies are doing something different, the market is as healthy as ever. People get bored of the same shops in the same cities.”