Lancashire-based discount specialist B&M Retail is expected to create hundreds of jobs at a new 611,000 sq ft distribution centre on Liverpool International Business Park.
The thriving Blackpool business has put The Vault warehouse under offer with a deal expected to complete soon. The premises were originally developed by Gladman and are now owned by Rockpoint.
B&M Retail trades as B&M Bargains and sells both non-food and groceries from 100 stores. The firm currently occupies a warehouse of similar size to The Vault in Blackpool's Squires Gate Industrial Estate. According to people familiar with the talks, far from all the 500 B&M warehouses workers are expected to relocate and the number of new posts could reach 600.
The investment will follow closely behind the news that Jaguar Land Rover is to create 800 jobs at the nearby Halewood motor plant for the contract to build a new low carbon Range Rover model.
B&M Retail is rumoured to be paying a heavily discounted rate of £24/sq ft to acquire the freehold of the South Liverpool unit, reflecting the low prices in the current buyers' market for industrial space. Landlords are doubly keen to dispose of units as the empty rates liability incurs cost on top of the usual debt.
B&M was founded in the 1970s and acquired by brothers Simon and Bobby Arora in 2005, when it had 21 stores. Today the group is expanding rapidly as it buys former Woolworths and Tradex stores.
The Vault is next to Bertelsmann's 500,000 sq ft printing plant off Speke Boulevard and near Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
CB Richard Ellis and M3 are marketing agents on The Vault. Burns Property Consultants is store acquisition agent for B&M retail.
All parties declined to comment.