New shop confirmed for iconic old M&S building on Church Street

Mike Ashley's discount sportswear store Sports Direct will have a prime position on one of Liverpool's most renowned shopping streets.
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Sports Direct is set to move into the former Marks & Spencer store in Church Street after buying up the vacant Grade II-listed building on one of Liverpool's busiest shopping streets.

The iconic Compton House was home to M&S for nearly 100 years, but the retailer shut the outlet in August last year and moved into the former Debenhams building on the edge of Liverpool ONE.

It will take around 18 months to transform the 103,000 sq ft building into a Sports Direct store and gym. The sportswear company is part of the Frasers Group, owned by former Newcastle United boss Mike Ashley.

Frasers head of acquisitions James France told Liverpool Business News: “We are pleased to confirm that we have acquired Compton House located on Liverpool’s renowned Church Street. We are big believers in physical retail and this acquisition marks an exciting time for the group as we continue to expand our store portfolio across the UK and Europe.

“As the UK’s leading destination for sportswear, we are looking forward to bringing Liverpool customers a next-generation sports retail experience with the opening of a 70,000 sq ft Sports Direct flagship store. Subject to approval, Everlast Gyms will also open a 23,000 sq. ft hybrid gym in the space.”

Compton House, Liverpool, was the home of M&S for nearly 100 years. Image: Google Street ViewCompton House, Liverpool, was the home of M&S for nearly 100 years. Image: Google Street View
Compton House, Liverpool, was the home of M&S for nearly 100 years. Image: Google Street View

Sports Direct did a similar refit of units on Tulketh Street, Southport, in 2016, with a sportswear store located next to an Everlast Gym and luxury fashion outlet Flannels, which all come under the Frasers Group umbrella.

Sports Direct already has an outlet at Liverpool One in the city centre and it is not yet clear what will happen to the store.