The Debenhams store has been closed since May 2021. Credit: Place North West

M&S on the move in Liverpool

The troubled retail giant is to leave Church Street, its home in the city for almost a century, in a relocation to the former Debenhams store in Liverpool One.

Pete Dobson, regional manager for M&S, said: “We’re really excited to announce our plans to open a brand new M&S store in the Liverpool ONE shopping centre. The new store, which we expect to open in mid-2023, will offer the very best of M&S in a prime location in Liverpool city centre.

“Local residents and visitors to the city will be able to shop across a wide range of M&S products in our new Foodhall and Clothing & Home departments, in a fresh, modern store with fully integrated digital technology to support customers however they want to shop.

“In line with this investment in a new M&S store for Liverpool city centre, our existing store at 35 Church Street will close once the new store is ready to open with all colleagues having the opportunity to transfer to work in the new store.”

M&S’s move signals a further boost to Liverpool ONE, where Debenhams closed in May 2021. In April, Gravity Active Entertainment signed a 15-year lease for 100,000 sq ft of the 185,000 store for a destination including e-karting, urban golf, bowling and food & drink.

A statement from Grosvenor said: “M&S’s proposal to relocate to Liverpool ONE is a significant vote of confidence in the city centre. It also completes the transformation of the former Debenhams following the announcement that Gravity is to create a £10m/100,000 sq ft entertainment experience on the upper two floors.”

Marks & Spencer moved into Compton House in Church Street in 1928, the building being noted as one of the world’s first purpose-built department stores from its 1860s origins, although it also operated as a hotel for a time.

In recent years, the firm has sought to rationalise its store estate as it struggles to adapt, with locations falling victim to closure including Stockport, since taken on by developer Glenbrook, and Macclesfield, which will close this autumn.

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Been rumoured for a while they might move, and by chance I was in Church Street some weeks ago and observed some suited men with clipboards looking up at the current store, and making notes and remarks about the upper rooms and other spaces, so maybe the building (grade2) ,might be converted back into a hotel at the front, however that will leave a lot of retail space to fill behind that, we`ll see.

By Anonymous

There has been conflicting reports in regards to the tenant/operator moving into the former Debenhams building in Liverpool one. Some reports suggest that part of this building is being converted into an entertainment venue, whereas some reports, including this report, it is stated that M&S will be relocating to this building from Church street next year.
What I want to know is why so much conflicting information has been announced in such a short amount of time? 2 weeks ago it was announced that this would become an entertainment venue, now M&S have been confirmed as the next tenants. So which is it to be?

By Anonymous

    Hi Anonymous. Our understanding is that the former Debenhams will house both M&S and the entertainment venue. Best wishes, Dan

    By Dan Whelan

Will there be the same floor space as the church street building, the Debenhams building looks smaller especially with the other user .

By George

How depressing, I hope that’s not another building that will be left to rot on church street like George Henry Lees has…

By Anonymous

The current M&S building and the old John Lewis building are both fabulous buildings. The lollipop lady was telling me that many years ago there were high end department stores – Liverpool City Council really need to save Church Street – start thinking about Williamson Square as a gateway to the museums and St John’s gardens – its just a mess!

By Evil Mary

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