We Like: Great Online Stores

With the annual Christmas rush over and December retail figures okay but far from great, it seems likely the news will again be back to declining high street sales and increased concern over lack of spending confidence. Whilst the decline in the high street is a real concern and Mary Portas’ recent recommendations do make for an interesting read (full review here), I have to say I didn’t do the usual high street shop during the festive period.

Town centres at Christmas are something I dread and having managed to do 95% of my shopping online this year was a big relief. However this decision wasn’t mainly down to avoiding the crowds but more to do with the lack of interesting gift stocks on the shelves of most retailers.

Some great online stores have been gaining popularity over the last couple of years especially those specialising in products not readily available on the high street and made by independent artists and craft makers. Whilst I have neither the time or inclination to go all Kirsty Allsop and crochet soft furnishings, some great hand made crafts can be bought online and for a lot less than some of the bland high street options.

While independent stores continue to get pushed out of the high street unable to compete, and the UK’s town centres continue to be homogenised, I for one won’t be rushing back. The spirit of independence does live on however online, below are a few links to my favourite stores that offer something different.



Folksy has 1000s of UK sellers offering unique clothing, home wares, arts and crafts



Not On The High street, is prob the largest and most well known online store for independent sellers



Red Bubble specialises in great art, design and photography posters & prints at an affordable price (there really is no excuse for buying wall art from Ikea).


Made is fantastic for modern ‘designer’ furniture with lower prices having cut out the middle men




Threadless is still hard to beat for unique t-shirt designs, though the US importing has been known to cause problems with extra duties to be paid