Afflecks, formerly known as Affleck's Palace, is a large building housing an indoor market located at the junction of Church Street/Tib Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Affleck's Palace took its name from the old department store "Affleck & Brown" regarded in its day as “the Harrods of the north” which used to occupy the Smithfield buildings opposite (Link
- Manchester History Net).
The nineteenth century building, which runs from Tib Street to Oldham Street along Dale Street, was once owned by Robert Lomas, a manufacturer and retailer of mantles (cloak-like garments worn loosely over other clothing). It later became occupied by C&A, another famous retail name from the past. Manchester Libraries has an old photo (Link
) of the building's Oldham Street façade when it was C&A.
In 1982 the building became Affleck's Palace, an indoor market which operated a system where tenants could rent stalls on a weekly basis, encouraging entrepreneurs to open shops in a safe, affordable environment without having to sign a long term contract. The market was particularly popular with young people. Attracting visitors from all over the UK, it was the North’s version of Camden Market.
After the expiry of its 25 year lease in June 2007, Affleck's Palace finally ceased trading on 31 March 2008. It re-opened on 1 April 2008 under new management and re-named simply as “Afflecks”. It had been previously suggested that property developer Bruntwood, the building’s owner, would redevelop it, possibly leading to its closure as a market but they realised how important it was to the city. A representative of the property developer is quoted to have said “Never in our 30 year history have we bought one of our customer’s businesses but Afflecks is a Manchester icon that we wanted to protect” (Link
BBC News). On its website (Link
) the new "Afflecks" describes itself as: "Afflecks is an emporium of eclecticism, a totem of indie commerce in Manchester’s Northern Quarter and above all else a fantastic place to SHOP for anything from Top hats to tattoos."