Top 3 Cities For Thrifty Second Hand Shops

Friday 03rd May 2024 |

Jog it on have put together a new study, identifying the UK cities that are hotspots for second hand shopping. 

The ranking of the 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. 

Richard Howarth, Commercial Director at jog it on comments:

“While jog it on exists to build a sustainable second hand shopping community online, in this study we wanted to celebrate the UK’s lively high street vintage culture. 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. 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. 

“It’s great to see the popularity of second hand shopping. There are plenty of reasons why it’s taking off more than ever. It’s affordable and it’s sustainable, reducing waste. I think a big reason is that it’s fun, whether you’re searching for something specific or letting what’s on offer take you by surprise.”

Second Hand Shops

The ranking scored each city out of a possible 80 points. 

In first place, Glasgow scored 70/80, as the Scottish city beat the competition in several of the categories jog it on were looking at. It has the sixth highest number of charity shops per capita, with 102 charity shops 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 shop Glad Rags and Shelter (the location on Great Western Road) were highlighted by British Vogue as being among the UK’s best vintage shops. 

Manchester was only just behind Glasgow, scoring 69/80. It has the third highest number of charity shops per capita as there are 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, but now there are Pop Boutique shops on the high street in Leeds, London, Liverpool and even Sweden!

Edinburgh ranked in third place, scoring 63/80, 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.

Second Hand Shops

The Scottish capital also 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 in a week.

Only just behind Edinburgh, Bristol scored 62/80. It 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. 

In fifth place, London scored 61/80 points. While the city 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. 

Second Hand Shops

The city with the next highest score was Leeds, with 56/80 (and the third highest number of charity shops per capita). It was followed by Yorkshire neighbour Sheffield, scoring 50/80 points.

Cardiff, Reading and Liverpool all scored 43/80 points. 

However, jog it on were keen to say that having a lower score doesn’t mean that a city isn’t a great destination for second hand shopping. It might just mean that it has more hidden gems to discover, and hasn’t been getting as much attention on social media as some others. 

Fenchurch Restaurant: New Menus and New Look