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A new breed of shopping centre

6 May 2015
A new breed of shopping centre
The Corn Exchange has been known under many guises over the years from its original corn trading days, its awkward teen phase as a goth hangout and now to the slowly expanding, thriving community of independent retailers and businesses. The various additions welcomed into the striking Victorian space have created a diverse retail arena perfect for gift shopping. If you’re struggling for gift ideas and are sick of the high street, here is our guide for where to check out:

The Arty One

Even if you’re not clued up yourself, any arty pal will no doubt love wares from art supplies shop Medium who alongside a diverse stock of general quality supplies also offer courses and classes such as Life Drawing. If photography is more their thing then check out West Yorkshire Cameras who stock a hefty selection of new and vintage film cameras and accessories and seem to know their onions. Or if simply reading about arty stuff tickles their fancy then Village Bookstore has a unique selection of beautiful independent publications, and will constantly bring in new stock to sample.

The Man in Your Life

If your hubby/brother/boyfriend/pal/cousin is into male grooming, get them a fresh new crop or even beard trim at trendy King Koby’s Chop Shop. If they consider themselves connoisseurs of their tipple then Little Leeds Beer House stocks a wide range of wines, spirits and beers, which you can also take home in nifty growlers. If your fella is trendy, or needs a push in the right direction, menswear boutique Miyuki stocks wears for the discerning gentleman, including clothing, accessories, toiletries and magazines.

The Rock n Roller

If you know an aspiring musical god or goddess then kit them out properly with quality instruments from Northern Acoustics know more than a thing or two about guitars. Or if they’re more of a drummer, Leeds Drum Centreall the drums and paraphernalia to satisfy. Of course, the rock star you know might also need to look the part which is where Red Tattoo and Piercing come in. They offer specialist and standard piercing and a Custom Tattoo service. Art prints of these bespoke designs are also available to buy if your recipient prefers their art on the wall.

Me Time

Who says you can’t treat yourself? Unwind with a beauty treatment at Skin Therapy from spray tanning, to massages to the slightly less relaxing but summer-ready waxing and laser hair removal services. Rag Doll Nails can kit you out with some killer nails; sassy or classy, they offer all kind of services. None of you men need to feel left out either as they offer male manicures and pedicures too. Shopping worked up your appetite? Have a tactical pit stop at Humpit a more exotic lunch of hummus, pittas, falafel and pickles.

Unusual Gifts

If you’re looking for something a bit different then Yellow Sunrise offers a slice of the orient. From small gifts of incense and jewellery, to beautiful Chinese lanterns and rugs, this shop is a treasure trove of trinkets. Got a kooky friend? Culture Vulture specialises in the kitsch and quirky, selling accessories, home wares and candies. Why not treat your lucky beneficiary to a snazzy makeover? If they’re always switching up their look, buy them a voucher for The HIVE Hair Salon who specialises in more adventurous dos. Dream up a cut/colour and they’ll make it happen.

And that is just half of some of the retailers that The Corn Exchange houses. Its variety, dynamism and regular fairs and events such as The Record and Vintage Fairs mean you could spend a whole day under one- stunning- roof and come away with some really special gifts.

Emma is a Freelance Writer for Leeds Living. She has a degree in English literature from the University of Leeds and specialises in writing cultural editorials.