Tuesday, June 25, 2024

A Vintage Expert’s 5 Best Cities In The UK For Second-Hand Shopping

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Walk down the high street of Edinburgh’s Stockbridge borough and you’ll pass a parade of charity shops bursting with vintage treasures. The road is one of the most popular places for second-hand shopping in the Scottish capital and the country.

A recent study by online auction marketplace Jog it on has done a deep dive into the UK’s pre-owned stores and identified the hotspots for second-hand shopping. If you’re the kind of traveler that brings a half-full suitcase to leave room for charity shop bargains, then these are the destinations in the UK for you.

What Is The Best Place For Charity Shops In The UK?

Jog it on’s ranking of 20 cities is based on the number of charity shops per capita, the number of charity shop related hashtags used on TikTok, and the number of hashtags related to vintage fashion and second-hand shopping used on Instagram. The ranking scored each city out of a possible 80 points.

“There are so many ways to shop second hand, from visiting trendy thrift stores and kilo sales to popping down to your local charity shop to see what’s new on their bookshelf,” Richard Howarth, Commercial Director at jog it on says. “All across the country, different towns and cities have their own iconic second hand shops and some of them have been going for decades, like Liverpool’s 69A which has been open since 1976.”

Glasgow Is The Best UK City For Vintage Shopping

Scotland’s second city Glasgow came in first place in the rankings. It has the sixth-highest number of charity shops per capita, with 102 stores in the city. Glasgow’s charity shops also received a lot of attention on TikTok compared to other cities in the list—it had the third-highest number of hashtags on the platform.

Glasgow’s not-for-profit thrift shops Glad Rags and Shelter (located on Great Western Road) were highlighted by British Vogue as being among the UK’s best vintage shops.

Where To Go Second-Hand Shopping In Manchester

Manchester was only just behind Glasgow and has the third-highest number of charity shops per capita at 83. Manchester was the second most posted on TikTok, with 75 uses of hashtags about the city’s charity shops. On Instagram, ‘#VintageManchester’ was used 14,746 times.

One of Manchester’s most famous vintage shops is Pop Boutique which opened in 1984. It’s still there today, stocking handpicked vintage clothes as well as upcycled one-off pieces. There are also Pop Boutique shops on the high street in Leeds, London, Liverpool and even Sweden now.

Where To Go Charity Shopping In Edinburgh

Edinburgh ranked in third place with the second-highest number of charity shops per capita at 105 total. Edinburgh was the fourth best performer on Instagram for vintage shopping, with the hashtag ‘#VintageEdinburgh’ used 7927 times.

The Scottish capital has a very popular branch of Shelter—the shop in the Stockbridge area is famous for its annual January launch event when shoppers get the chance to purchase rarities, one-offs and designer items. Last year it broke records by raising £30,000 ($37,000) in a week.

Where To Find Second-Hand Bargains In Bristol

Only just behind Edinburgh, Bristol has the fifth highest number of stores per capita. On Instagram, Bristol has the fourth highest number of tags relating to second hand shopping, with ‘#SecondHandBristol’ being used 47 times.

The Amnesty Bookshop in Bristol’s Bishopston area has been open for 25 years. It’s well known for its extensive poetry and literature selection, as well as its friendly and knowledgeable team of staff and volunteers.

Where To Go Vintage Shopping In London

In fifth place, London has a whopping 286 charity shops. It’s not many per capita, meaning that London actually ranked the lowest of all the cities in this category. However, it had by far the most attention on TikTok, with 640 London-centric hashtags, and was also the highest performing city on Instagram for both ‘#VintageLondon’ and ‘#SecondhandLondon’ hashtags.

One notable second-hand shop in London is the London Architectural Salvage & Supply Co or LASSCO—you can rifle through a fantastic selection of homeware and furniture and there’s even an on-site bar and restaurant.

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