20 Indie Leeds Shops that Fly Under the Retail Radar
4th May 2021
Leeds’ thriving indie retail scene has always been a big part of city life, (we love our indies in Leeds) but many of the best shops out there fly under the retail radar. Maybe they’re a little off the beaten track, or their loyal customers like to keep the biggest bargains to themselves. Or maybe they’re just quietly doing their thing without the fanfare of bigger, high street chains and shopping locations.
Whatever the case, filling those shopping bags is one of the best things to do in Leeds, whether you’re visiting the city or you’re here for the long run. So we’ve rounded up 20 indie retail hidden gems, so you can hit some new and unique locations for that spot of shopping satisfaction.
Books for kids (and grownups too) at The Little Bookshop
This Chapel Allerton gem opened its doors in 2017, with a beautifully curated collection of books for kids. They now stock adult tomes too, but we won’t blame you if you’d prefer The Gruffalo anyway.
Purchase pedal power at Woodrup Cycles
Getting out and about has been more important than ever recently, and plenty of us have been taking advantage of Leeds’ parks and cycle routes. If it’s time to grab a new model, or just give the old bike a tuneup, Woodrup Cycles can help.
It’s not just superheroes at OK Comics
Comics and graphic novels are really booming these days, and OK Comics has one of the finest selections in the UK. Whether you’re after the latest superhero epic, or a graphic novel from an indie artist, they’ve got you covered.
Grab some new garms at Accent Clothing
This Queens Arcade retail icon has been dressing the city since 1984, and they’ve seen all the fashions over the years. Customers love their knowledgeable staff, who have the time to talk all things style, and work out what fits, and what doesn’t.
Call in for culture at Village
Art, design, fashion and photography can all be found on the shelves at Village, the stripped back indie bookshop and gallery in Thornton’s Arcade. Watch out for shows in the exhibition space, or events and workshops.
Bag some bling at Aladdin’s Cave
If jewels are your jam, then Aladdin’s Cave really does what it says on the tin. You’ll find this indie jeweller in Queen’s Arcade, on hand for everything from wedding rings to Paul Mescal-style chains.
Get hanging at On the Wall
If you’ve got a few too many blank walls at home, then Leeds Corn Exchange residents On the Wall can surely help. They offer prints and posters of all shapes, sizes and themes, from the vintage to the truly visionary.
Tune up your musical side at Northern Acoustics
Maybe you’re a keen guitarist, or you haven’t picked up the axe in a while? You could even be a total beginner, picking up the instrument for the first time. Northern Acoustics carry an amazing selection of acoustic and electro acoustic models, and what’s more they’ve got the staff to talk you through them.
Shop without the plastic at EcoTopia
We should all be trying to reduce the single use plastic in our lives, and one way is through ‘Weigh and Pay’ stores like EcoTopia, in central arcade. Pop in – with a reusable container of course – for everything from washing up liquid to chocolate spread.
Fill your life with green at The Plant Point
Leeds Corn Exchange is home to all kinds of indie retail gems, and one shining example is The Plant Point. The green fingered amongst us can bolster their houseplant lineup, and more inexperienced indoor gardeners can find all the advice they need to get going.
Keep things local at The Great Yorkshire Shop
God’s Own County is well worth celebrating, and locals are rightfully proud of the unique culture, history and personality of Yorkshire – whether they were born here, or made it their home. Funnily enough, the Great Yorkshire Shop is the place for such gifts, souvenirs, cards and clothing.
Globally inspired gifting at Yellow Sunrise
If you’re on the lookout for a unique gift, or even a little something for your own home, then Yellow Sunrise in Central Arcade is definitely the place to be. Their collection takes influences from cultures far and wide, so you’re sure to find a one of a kind pressie.
Contemporary indie gifts at Chirpy
Chapel Allerton is an absolute haven for indie retail, and it’s there you’ll find Chirpy – gifts, homeware, jewellery, prints and the like, all with an independent spirit and often featuring local designers and makers. There’s also a workshop space, so keep your eyes peeled for events.
(Panda Refills – credit Aimee Brown)
Refill and reuse at Panda Refills
Over in Kirkgate Market, Panda Refills offers the chance to load up those reusable containers you have lying around the house with all sorts of edible and household goods. It’s better for the environment, and potentially better for your wallet too.
All sorts for all sorts at Fabrication Crafts
Fabrication Crafts, found on Albion Street, operates a social enterprise model where indie makers and designers can come together to find a home for their wares. They also offer all sorts of classes and workshops, so you can get hands on as well as shop.
Dress yourself differently at Blue Rinse
If we’re talking Leeds indie icons, Blue Rinse has a pedigree to be proud of. They’ve been offering carefully sourced vintage clothes and accessories to discerning fashionistas for years, so whether you’re after that perfect 90s throwback look or just an aged pair of Levis then their door is open.
Relax and unwind at ID Aromatics
OK, maybe don’t relax too much – you’ll have to leave the shop at some point. But when you do, you’ll hopefully be carrying a few beautiful essential oils ready to spice up your next bath, or transform your skincare routine.
Browse whilst you brew at Tandem
Over in Meanwood, you can pick up a mean Flat White at Tandem. And whilst you’re there, you can browse their collection of cool and quirky homewares. If you’ve ever thought ‘ooh I like these mugs’ in your local indie coffee shop, then Tandem is for you.
(Our Handmade Collective)
The personal touch at Our Handmade Collective
Gift buying can be a minefield, and no-one wants to receive a pressie without any personality. Luckily, Our Handmade Collective offers the chance to pick up all sorts of treasures and trinkets produced by local designers and artisans.
Value vinyl at Jumbo Records
Standing loud and proud amongst the independent scene in the heart of Leeds, Jumbo Records is located in the Merrion Centre as the city’s one-stop music shop. Offering a range of vinyl records and CDs for you to browse through at your leisure, as well as tickets to local music venues across the city, there’s truly something for everyone, no matter what your preference may be. So if you have a passion for vinyl and music or just want to support local musicians, head down to Jumbo Record to see what’s in store.