7-8 St Anne’s Arcade
Split into two stores - a men’s and women’s facing each other across the arcade - Ran offers footwear brands such as Vans, Adidas, Havaianas, FitFlop, Uggs and Camper, with a small men’s clothing offer in the basement from the likes of Fred Perry, Lyle & Scott and Aertex.
Owner James Matthews says the business has been performing well because it offers customers exclusivity. “We’re the only shop in Manchester to get certain styles from Nike,” he explains. “And we’ve maintained an interesting way of retailing. For example, if someone can put £10 [as a deposit] towards a pair of shoes until they get paid, we’ll do it.”
The store’s interior also stands out, featuring quirky details like a cuckoo clock and Singer sewing machine. A floral wallpaper design and worn-out leather sofas add to the vintage feel, helped by the fact that the store has retained some of the original features from its previous incarnation as a tailor’s.
Matthews is also confident of the ongoing success of Manchester’s independent retail scene, believing that the future lies in a varied high street which combines retail with entertainment. “People want to go to a real city centre now, to a real bar, to eat a real pizza.”