The centre of the city is famous as one of Britain’s largest and most interesting regional shopping centres, but outside the city centre also has a lot to offer. You can find anything from clothes shops to butcher shops or from grocers to bookshops.If you are looking for a fun shopping day out, the city of Cardiff is the best place to go.
Aside from the wide variety of products and services offered by its numerous shopping centres, Cardiff is also well known for its affordable life, which means that shopping in Cardiff provides you with countless different quality products at very low prices. It is no wonder that Cardiff has been the dreamland of all shopaholics for at least the past decade. The centre of the city is famous as one of Britain’s largest and most interesting regional shopping centres, but the city also has a lot to offer outside the centre limits. You can find anything from clothes shops to butcher shops or from grocers to bookshops in the shopping centres from Canton, like Cowbridge Road East, or Roath, with the Albany Road shops.
Aside from the major stores represented in the city’s shopping centres, including names like Marks & Spencer, Vidal Sassoon, Armani, Hugo Boss and D&G, the shopping life of Cardiff also offers quality products by local companies, such as the Welsh made home goods made by famous Melin Tregwynt, a favorite of Hollywood superstars like Catherine Zeta Jones. For music lovers Cardiff can pride itself as the owner of the oldest record store in the world, Spillers Records, located in The Hayes. Shopping in Cardiff can provide you with anything you may desire, from luxury clothing by famous designers to goods for the home or from collection records to friendly puppies, all at affordable prices.
Experian Retail Ranking in a survey that included 50 shopping centres around the country ranked Cardiff the 6th best shopping centre in the United Kingdom and the best in Wales in 2003. It has everything to offer to the experienced shopper from the biggest Next in the world, huge department stores like the well known Debenhams to smaller specialized shops.
An area offering a wide range of high quality stores is located close to the centre of the city and it features names such as Hennes and Mauritz ( or as you probably know it -H&M), Vidal Sassoon, Oasis, Marks and Spencer, Jaeger or the Virgin Megastore. The very modern shopping centre combines famous designer name fashion clothes with seasonal display and occasional live music. The covered Victorian arcades of Cardiff city centre date back more than a century and offer alternative shopping experiences from designer labels and department stores through to a series of smaller, more intimate shops like boutiques, coffee houses, bookshops, bars and record shops. The High Street Arcade is filled with unusual and interesting smaller shops that range from vintage clothing shops to joke shops including Nice, which sells paraphernalia from inflatable chairs to fur bags or Buzz, a famous and funky Cardiff shoe store. The Morgan Arcade houses Woodies Emporium, a designer outlet that sells men’s clothing by names like Armani or Hugo Boss, and women’s clothing by D&G or Sticky Fingers.
A House of Fraser store, Howell’s, includes several designer outlets like D&G and Pied á Terre and a very good cosmetics department that features products of famous cosmetics giants as well as products by Molton Brown, La Prairie, Benefit, Darphin, Aveda, Malika and many more. The Royal Arcade is the home of the famous Melin Tregwynt store of Welsh made home goods and it sells trinkets, blankets, cushions, candlesticks and other goods that have become favourites of some of the most stylish homes, especially since it became known that Catherine Zeta Jones does her shopping there!
Cardiff city centre is very compact and in just two main streets, St. Mary Street and Queen Street, it manages to offer a multitude of shopping malls, markets and arcades. There are four major covered shopping malls of which Cardiff city centre can boast: Queens Arcade, Queens West, St. David’s Centre and the Capitol Centre.
Music lovers and record collectors can spend an entire day in the most famous record store that Cardiff has to offer, Spiller Records located in the Hayes, the oldest record store in the entire world.
The Cardiff Bay waterfront also offers a shopping experience to be remembered. Aside from super stores like Tesco, Asda or Morrisons, Cardiff Bay will soon be the home of the largest Toys-R-Us store in Europe. The Wales Millennium Centre for the performing arts is also a place that houses several interesting stores, bookshops and coffee houses in addition to its theatres and can offer a unique shopping experience.
There are two markets in the centre of Cardiff, a covered market and an open air market. They both offer accessible fresh fruit and vegetables and the covered one also sells meat and dairy products as well as fresh fish.
There are some very reliable supermarkets located outside the city centre, among them are Asda, Sainsburys, Safeways and a Tesco situated very close to the Talybont Hall of Residence.
Two very important shopping areas located outside the city are Albany Road in Roath and Cowbridge Road East in Canton, both housing grocery stores, bakeries, butcher stores but also card shops, gift shops, supermarkets and clothes shops.
A visit to Cardiff offers an exhilarating shopping experience. With its two main shopping streets in the centre housing different department stores and designer outlets, the network of seven Edwardian and Victorian arcades with their intimate atmosphere housing delicatessens, bookshops, boutiques and small shops, the Cardiff Bay waterfront and its Wales Millennium Centre it is more than prepared to meet the highest standards of any shopping lovers. When you add to all this the accessible prices that the city is famous for, it becomes clear that Cardiff is the perfect destination for the shopping trip of your dreams.
Cardiff, Shopping centre, photo by Philip Halling