Southampton oxford street

Small Businesses and Local Independents in Southampton

Independent businesses play an important role in all of our local communities, not only offering a personal touch to service but also by adding distinct charm and character to our towns. From Oxford Street to Bedford Place, Southampton has many amazing small businesses to discover.

W J French and Sons

External of W. J. French & Son shop

Trading in Southampton since 1803, W. J. French & Son is the oldest and largest independent shoe shop in Hampshire. This independent family business is now run by the eighth generation of the French family. Offering expert and personal service, customers are delighted to find shoes for all ages and sizes. They also offer a quick and professional shoe repair service.

Beatnik Emporium

External of Beatnik Emporium on Above Bar Street

Funky and fabulous – Beatniks have been selling wonderfully quirky clothing since 1992. This vintage shop has gone through many changes over the years, starting off as a festival stall before having its first shopfront in Ocean Village. Beatnik Emporium then moved to Old Northam Road before finally calling Above Bar Street home in 2005. They are still in touch with their roots today, still trading at festivals across the UK. Velvet jackets, knit jumpers, mod dresses and more – what will you discover?

Vinilo Records

Selection of records at Vinilo Records

Vinilo Records is a must visit in Southampton for music enthusiasts. Located just off the high street, this vinyl-only record shop stocks an eclectic mix of independent releases and limited editions spanning alt rock, dream pop, new wave, funk and more.

D&G Hardware

The exterior of D & G Hardware

From quick DIY solutions and home repairs to kitchen appliances and gardening supplies, D&G Hardware is your one-stop shop for all your home needs. Friendly staff are always eager to help you find just what you need as they seldom can’t locate what you’re looking for.

Cool-Merch

Storefront of Cool Merch in the Marlands Shopping Centre

Whether it’s band merch or Funko pops, Cool-Merch has become a popular one-stop shop for all things pop culture in the Marlands Shopping Centre. This family-run business first began in 2014 in Salisbury where their founder, Colin, started with vinyl and music tees. Since then it has expanded to four locations including Southampton selling officially licensed goodies of classic films, tv shows, and even Anime. As a small business, Cool-Merch is always looking for ways to make your experience more special – if you can’t find what you’re looking for, their team will be happy to place a special order for you.

Photo by Cool-Merch.

The Guitar Store

The exterior of The Guitar Store

The Guitar Store has served the community since its establishment in 1987. Music lovers are delighted to find guitars, drums and an extensive range of equipment and accessories. The store also offers lessons for all age ranges and experience levels for piano, drums, guitar and bass.

Biltong and Bangers

Biltongs Bangers hero

Another family-run business in the heart of the city centre, Biltong and Bangers brings you the delicious traditional flavours of South Africa: this includes favourites such as biltong, droewors, beef snapsticks and hundreds of imported South African grocery products, they have it all! Their story first began in 2008 when Heath Dixon, the owner, butcher, and chef, first arrived to the city after living in South Africa for over 30 years. With him he brought a wealth of experience of authentic preparation methods from South Africa, having run a successful award-winning restaurant.

Now open for over 15 years of business, you can also find a great range of souvenirs if you are visiting the city on holiday as well as a handy left luggage service if you wish to explore hands free after a cruise.

Colour Company

The exterior of Colour Company

Colour Company Southampton is a local printing company based on London Road that offers fast, friendly and reliable printing and design services. Their team offers free advice on all stages of your print project from design to production. Produced on time, the shop prides itself on offering services for all budgets.

The Loft Ladder

Comics and t shirts in the Loft Ladder at the Marlands Shopping Centre

On the top floor of the Marland’s you will find The Loft Ladder which stocks a fantastic range or second-hand retro consoles and games, comics, trading cards, vinyl records and more. It has called Southampton home for over 10 years!

Re:So

Hero re so solent university

Re:So, Solent University’s retail initiative, is where creativity meets entrepreneurship. Located in The Spark building on East Park Terrace, this vibrant hub lets young entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life in a safe, nurturing environment. From artwork to jewellery, fashion to accessories – students are mentored through every step of the production process to transform their visions into reality.

The store itself is run entirely by students, offering real-world experience through work placements and internships. Stock rotates frequently so make sure you return regularly to see the latest ranges made by students.

October Books

The exterior of October Books

Attracting book lovers near and far, October Books is the only independent bookshop in Southampton, offering a diverse collection of books and eco-friendly and fair-trade products. You can spend hours trying to find your next read! The store also has a multi-purpose community space available for hire throughout the week for anything from an art exhibition space to meeting rooms.

And don’t forget to check their events programme. There is always something going on such as book signings and open mic nights.

Frederick’s Chocolates

The exterior of Fredericks

Handcrafted chocolates and fudge, old fashioned weighed sweets, and delicious ice cream – if you have a sweet tooth, Frederick’s is your local haven. This award-winning chocolate shop and café is proudly family owned and run in the Marlands with more than 500 types of traditional sweets for purchase: the largest confectioner in the city.

Poveys at Perrys

Povey at Perrys5

Unleash your creativity on East Street with top-notch arts and craft supplies at Poveys! From paints and brushes to air-dry clay and sculpting tools, they have it all. Matthew, the owner, has been running the shop for the last three years and is always delighted to welcome new faces to the shop. He is on-hand, ready to help support you with any creative questions or inspiration you need to kick-start your latest project.

Made In Here

Made in Here sign with blue sky

Freshly baked sourdough breads, savoury sausage rolls, and decadent cheeses - what more could you want from your local deli? Bedford Place is home to Made in: Here which is a lovely local deli and gift shop which offers the best of the British Isles. Stop by and see for yourself!

Gaia Health Store

Gaia Health Store Front

Whether you're looking for advice on nutrition or just browsing for natural remedies, the friendly husband and wife duo, André and Emma, have everything you need to support a healthier you. With their wide range of organic foods, supplements, and natural beauty products, Gaia Health believe that wellbeing shouldn’t cost the earth. The shop originally opened in Bedford Place in 2020, lovingly fitted with handmade fixtures and furnishings created by Andre and Emma.

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