Don't expect to find the usual chains of shops in Tain. Many of the shops I knew in my youth are long gone. The large building below used to be the Cooperative, but now there is a new much larger complex on the northern edge of town, and some of the smaller shops have been taken over by the Coop as outlets stocking the more basic commodities, newspapers, cigarettes and the like for those who don't want to take the long walk .
Shafi's, which now occupies Gladstone House, is owned by a Pakistani family and it stocks garments for men,. women, and children ; as well as shoes and household goods. The clothes are not high fashion but for everyday t-shirts , trousers or skirts are a lot cheaper than in Inverness.
.For household, garden , DIY, fishing and shooting supplies the shop at the southern end of the high street is the place to go. You can find anything from fishing rods to paint and elegant china.
There are two bakers' shops , Grants and Harry Gow [formerly Strachan's which had a tea room upstairs. I was taken there on my first date. There are two chemist shops, an elecrical goods shop, toy shop, gift shop ., a jewellers, and a sports outfitters.
What to buy: Tain Silver makes a nice gift and can be purchased locally.
What to pay: much as can be expected in most shops in Uk.
the Book Shop in Tain is a good place to find books on Scotland, as well as modern novels, stationary,postcards, greetings cards and craft materials.
Other shops in the High Street are Strachans Bakery, Grants bakery, Ross the Chemist, Watsons Chemist, The Dress Shop [possibly the best in the north], "Winkie" McLeod's hardware shop [gardening, diy, fishing, shooting and kitchen equipment.]
For general supplies the Coop on the northern side of Tain is best[ though ASDA is coming!], and there is a smaller branch on the High Street.
Off the High Street are King St and Market St where there is Ross the butcher, a delicatessen, a green grocer and charity shop. There is also Shafi who has clothes and shoes and some kitchenware.
The Chocolate shop [beside the bus stop and post office] is a fish and chip shop and cafe.
What to buy: Books on Scotland
What to pay: much as you would in any other shops.