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Affleck's with the Tib Street horn in the foreground, Northern Quarter. Afflecks with the Tib Street Horn in Manchester's Northern Quarter, England.jpg
Affleck's with the Tib Street horn in the foreground, Northern Quarter.

Afflecks (formerly Affleck's Palace) [1] is an indoor market in Manchester, England, in the city's Northern Quarter on the junction of Church Street/Tib Street and Dale Street with Oldham Street. Dozens of independent stalls, small shops and boutiques operate in the one building. The building was once occupied by a department store called Affleck and Brown as a store and office space, hence the name.

Manchester City and metropolitan borough in England

Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 545,500 as of 2017. It lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous built-up area, with a population of 2.7 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority is Manchester City Council.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Northern Quarter (Manchester) area in Manchester, England

The Northern Quarter is an area of Manchester city centre, England, between Piccadilly station, Victoria station and Ancoats, centred on Oldham Street, just off Piccadilly Gardens. It was defined and named in the 1990s as part of the regeneration and gentrification of Manchester.


The Tib Street side of the building, June 2011. The artworks and mosaics have been removed and replaced with hoarding displaying details about the store. The silver tree was a new installation in 2011 Afflecks Tree.jpg
The Tib Street side of the building, June 2011. The artworks and mosaics have been removed and replaced with hoarding displaying details about the store. The silver tree was a new installation in 2011

Affleck & Brown history

Affleck & Brown was started in the 1860s as a drapery business in Oldham Street. The store grew to occupy a whole block between Oldham Street, Church Street and Tib Street and become a full flung department store. [2] The business had a good reputation as a credit draper and was known for a good range of cloth for home dressmaking [3] as well as a furrier.

The business started to decline after the Second World War as shopping moved away from Oldham Street, and in the 1950s Debenhams added the store to their portfolio. Debenhams also owned another Manchester department store, Pauldens, and the continued decline of the area led to the closure of Affleck & Brown in 1973. [2]

Debenhams British multinational retailer operating under a department store.

Debenhams plc is a British multinational retailer operating under a department store format in the United Kingdom and Ireland with franchise stores in other countries. The company was founded in the eighteenth century as a single store in London and has now grown to 178 locations across the UK, Ireland and Denmark. It sells a range of clothing, household items and furniture and has been known since 1993 for its 'Designers at Debenhams' brand range.

Affleck's Palace early history

Affleck's Palace first opened in 1982 by James and Elaine Walsh with an ethos of offering a safe environment for entrepreneurs to start out with affordable rent and no long term contracts. Unit holders operated under a licence agreement which allowed them to pay for space on a week by week basis. The atmosphere and colourful maze-like layout led to Affleck's becoming a mecca for alternative culture. The establishment was able to bounce back from two building fires and overcame many obstacles.

During the 1990s 'Madchester Summer of Love' period, when local bands like the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays and Inspiral Carpets were at the height of their popularity; Affleck's Palace was a fashionable spot to get oversized flared jeans and tie dyed T-shirts and 'Eastern Bloc' was a popular record shop as it dealt in all the latest underground dance tunes of the time.

Madchester music genre

Madchester was a music and cultural scene that developed in the Manchester area of North West England in the late 1980s, in which artists merged alternative rock with acid house and dance culture as well as other sources, including psychedelia and 1960s pop. The label was popularised by the British music press in the early 1990s, and its most famous groups include the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets, the Charlatans and 808 State.

The Stone Roses English rock band

The Stone Roses are an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1983. One of the pioneering groups of the Madchester movement in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the band's lineup consists of vocalist Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Mani and drummer Reni.

Happy Mondays English alternative rock band

Happy Mondays are an English rock band formed in Salford in 1980. The band's original line-up was Shaun Ryder (vocals), his brother Paul Ryder (bass), Mark Day (guitar), Paul Davis (keyboard), and Gary Whelan (drums). Mark "Bez" Berry later joined the band onstage as a dancer/percussionist. Rowetta joined the band as a guest vocalist in 1990.

Modern history

On 31 March 2008, Affleck's Palace ceased trading. It re-opened on 1 April 2008 as Afflecks under new management. Afflecks is now managed by Mancunian property developer Bruntwood after the expiry of a 25-year lease in 2007. [4] It had been previously suggested that Bruntwood would redevelop the building, possibly leading to its closure as a market, [5] [6] [7] with many traders having feared that closure would be likely and that notice could have been given as soon as the end of January. [8]


Bruntwood is a family-owned property company offering office space, serviced offices, retail space and virtual offices in the north of England and Birmingham in the United Kingdom. They own several high-profile buildings in the Manchester area, as well as in Liverpool, Leeds and Birmingham. They own one-third of the office space in Manchester city centre and also donate 10% of all annual profits to arts, cultural and community charities.

Following the change in management a representative of the property developer is quoted as saying:

Never in our 30 year history have we bought one of our customers' businesses but Afflecks is a Manchester icon that we wanted to protect. We aren't however expert in managing markets, so will look for a suitable long term owner. [9]

Afflecks Palace currently has over 73 businesses operating inside of it, the majority of which are alternative clothing, record shops and retro game shops. Afflecks also has a variety of cafes.

The independent markets have continued to be popular with one million visitors in 2012. [10] All 73 units are fully let and attract an average of 24,000 shoppers every week, including 7,000 on Saturdays. [11]

See also

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  1. "Manchester Evening News - News - Palace Becomes Simply Afflecks". Manchester Evening News. 2008-04-13. Archived from the original on 2013-04-22. Retrieved 2008-04-13.
  2. 1 2 "Oldham Street - Tom's Travels" . Retrieved 22 Dec 2014.
  3. Corina, M. (1978) Fine Silks and Oak Counters. London: Hutchinson Benham; pp. 140, 167, 190
  4. Deborah Linton (2008-02-01). "Afflecks Palace saved". Manchester Evening News . Retrieved 2008-06-26.
  5. Emma Unsworth (2007-02-16). "Our Palace of wonders". Manchester Evening News . Retrieved 2008-06-26.
  6. Ciara Leeming (2007-02-13). "Afflecks Palace under threat". Manchester Evening News . Retrieved 2008-06-26.
  7. Ciara Leeming (2007-02-14). "Afflecks Palace under threat". Manchester Evening News . Retrieved 2008-06-26.
  8. Ciara Leeming (2008-01-06). "Afflecks traders face boot". Manchester Evening News . Retrieved 2008-06-26.
  9. "Iconic Afflecks saved by owners". BBC Online. 2008-02-01. Retrieved 2008-06-26.
  10. "Afflecks is a magnet for visitors, as X Factor, Manchester derbies and Christmas markets boost sales in the Northern Quarter". Manchester Evening News. 21 December 2012.
  11. "How Manchester has turned into a tale of two shopping cities". Manchester Evening News. 3 April 2013. Archived from the original on 22 December 2014. Retrieved 2013-04-03.

Coordinates: 53°28′57″N2°14′10″W / 53.48250°N 2.23611°W / 53.48250; -2.23611