Manchester is home to some huge talent.
It’s not a secret. In fact, the Northern Powerhouse has been attracting top talent for years now, rivalling London’s rat race thanks to our breadth of huge, household brands. From the entrepreneurial types rivalling the big corporations to the actual founders of said corporations – here are some of the biggest brand names to come out of Manchester.
Famous breakfast brand Kellogg’s manufactures many of its products right here in Manchester, and the companies largest factory in Trafford Park. While founded in Michigan, Manchester is of significant importance to the brand – marking its first-ever British factory. Production has run here since 1938, and continues to this day. It’s even home to former Christmas Market icon Zippy, who is now brought out annually to sit on top of their factory.
Manchester is famously the home of Vimto, being founded here in 1908 by Noel Nichols. While no longer produced in Manchester, our city will forever be its birthplace – and there’s even a statue marking it at Granby Row. Some areas of the business are still based in Manchester today.
Fast-fashion brand Missguided has seen global success since its launch back in 2009. And while they’re well-known all over the world for their on-trend styles, the brand is still based right here in Greater Manchester – with a unique office in Trafford Park. The brand has been subject to its very own documentary – and has worked on huge collaborations with celebrities such as Nicole Scherzinger, Jourdan Dunn and Sofia Richie.
The Co-op has a huge presence here in Manchester, with their HQ taking up residence at the wonderful One Angel Square near Victoria Station. Born in Rochdale back in 1844, the business has retained its presence here in Greater Manchester – operating many of its business functions from the city centre. Now, Co-op has over 3,700 locations and continues to grow.
Founded in Bury, where it is still headquartered to this day, JD Sports began life as a single shop in 1981, before growing into the Arndale and beyond after finding success here. Now, the business continues to flourish, running its main business operations from Bury and running over 2,600 stores across 20 territories as a group (which includes Blacks, Go Outdoors, and size?).
Another famous sports brand to hail from Manchester is Umbro, a now-iconic name that has well and truly cemented itself as a leader in the industry. Founded in Wilmslow in 1924, the business is now based in Cheadle – selling its products all over the globe while still representing our region.
While originally founded in Scotland, McVities has had a presence in Manchester since 1917. To this day, production continues here, with a site in Heaton Chapel, Stockport where all the magic happens.
The UK’s leading bread brand was actually born in Bolton, where it is still headquartered today. The business is still run by the Warburton family, too, while the bread is manufactured across the UK (including Bolton).
Out of all the brands that hail from Greater Manchester, this one is potentially the most surprising. The business was founded in 1904 right here in Manchester, when Charles Rolls and Sir Henry Royce began selling a range of cars developed by Royce. Now, the business is based in London – however, it’s Manchester roots will always remain.
If you needed yet more proof that Greater Manchester was the home of fashion, Reebok was also founded in our region – with its history dating all the way back to 1895, when it was founded in Bolton. The business has, of course, come leaps and bounds since then – and is now based in Boston, Massachusetts.
One of Manchester’s many fast-fashion brands – albeit, one of the biggest – Boohoo was founded in 2006 by the Kamani family, who also own and operate PrettyLittleThing, NastyGal, Boohoo Man, Debenhams, Karen Millen and more. The brand has seen global success, however, is still based in Manchester’s quirky Northern Quarter.
Founded in Salford in 1999, LateRooms – the popular online travel agents – was long based in Manchester, setting up camp in the Peninsula building from 2010, to its almost-closure in 2019. Now, the business is based in London, however, it’ll always be Manchester-born in our eyes.
Leading electricals supplier AO was founded in Bolton back in the year 2000, after a conversation in a pub turned into a £1 bet that founder John Roberts couldn’t start his own white goods business online. We all know how that bet went, today, with the business being a huge player in the market. AO is still based in Bolton today.
LADBible & UNILAD
Former rivals UNILAD and LADBible were both founded in Manchester, where they are currently based together under the LADBible Group. UNILAD launched in 2010, with LADBible following closely behind in 2012. Both businesses have become well-established as world-class social media news publishers, leading the way for social media-based publishing as a brand new industry. UNILAD was acquired by the LADBible Group back in 2018, and now, both businesses run from the Northern Quarter.
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