Affleck’s Palace is the dark, throbbing heart of Manchester’s alternative shopping experience, and there is no other place in the city quite like it. Spread out over four packed floors, it is an anti-department store emporium of dark and strange delights: a place to get lost in, a place that will shock and surprise, a place where you might emerge on the other side as a completely new person.
It’s like entering a gothic Aladdin’s cave, its wonders just as rich. Posters from the nineties paper the walls, arcade games machines bleep at you at every turn, and leather-clad stores lurk at the ends of narrow corridors. Clothes shops dominate; from the neon-glow retro punk of Cyberdog to the vintage labels of Zeffa and the combat fatigues of Mashed, but there’s far more to Afflecks than baggy t-shirts and basques. You’ll find quirky jewellery, fancy dress costumes, retro video games, all your haberdashery needs, as well as one shop selling more band posters than you could ever conceivably fit onto a wall.
Way up on the top floor, a decent little cafe awaits if it all gets too much, serving hot and cold food and drink (as well as its own share of vintage clothing!). And if you are still feeling adventurous after all that, an array of tattoo artists, piercers and hairdressers lie in wait on the way back down. Try Affleck’s Palace once and you’ll be hooked. Shopping will never be the same again.