Matalan store site at Bamber Bridge sold to London-based property group in £6.45m deal
and live on Freeview channel 276
But the discount clothing and homeware retailer will continue to trade at the site in Cuerden Way where its lease still has more than nine years to run.
The building, which was Matalan's first UK store when it opened in 1985, was put up for sale last year, sparking fears the company was quitting the site. The speculation prompted a statement from the Knowsley-based firm confirming it would be staying put and trading as normal.
Now the building and the 4.39-acre site it sits on have been sold to London-based property group AEW UK REIT, which also owns a large pub property in Bank Hey Street, Blackpool.
The store is one of seven operated by Matalan in Lancashire, one of more than 30 in the North West and among 230 in the UK and the Middle East. Bamber Bridge continues to be one of the company's top 10 performing sites.
Laura Elkin, portfolio manager of AEW UK REIT, said: “We are pleased to have purchased this retail warehousing unit. Our due diligence has shown that Matalan trades well from the location, giving us confidence in its continued occupation, and in the stability of the income stream.
“As we look to return the portfolio to full investment, we continue to analyse an interesting pipeline of potential acquisitions, and expect to make further purchase announcements in the coming months.”
Matalan was launched by Liverpudlian John Hargreaves in Preston in 1985, with the company headquarters based in the city and Bamber Bridge its only store. The company moved its offices to Skelmersdale in 1997 and later to Knowsley in 2014. The Hargreaves family still own the company, although founder John, 79, is now living in Monaco.
The firm is currently paying £651,262 a year rent for the site which includes a large customer car park. That will rise to £736,843 in 2027.
The sale of the site is the second big property deal in South Ribble in the past week following the purchase of the Capitol Centre in Walton-le-Dale by a London-based investment company for £51.5m.