Empty M&S shop in Stafford town centre goes up for sale
The former Marks & Spencer store in Stafford could be given a new lease of life when it goes to auction this month.
Bidding on the former M&S branch in Gaolgate Street could reach between £350,000 and £400,000.
It is hoped the unit’s sale will help revitalise the ‘depressing’ north end of the town centre.
The chain closed the store in August 2016 when it moved into the new Riverside shopping centre complex on the other side of town.
It has been listed on auctioneer website Allsop, which says the building is up for auction on March 22.
County councillor Maureen Compton, who represents the Stafford Central ward, said: “I am pleased to hear this. I think we need to revitalise the town centre, it’s been looking rather shabby lately.
“The town centre does need a good shop at that north end, let’s hope we have something which will be a focal point for the area – that’s what we’re needing at the moment.
“It feels a bit depressing down the main street. A new shop might make the area more attractive to other businesses.”
The store is one of a number of shops standing empty in Gaolgate Street.
Following the closure of M&S, staff relocated to the new 44,000 sq ft store at Riverside – double the size of the old unit.
It comes after plans for a new Stafford-based Slaters Ales bar in the former British Heart Foundation charity shop in the street were accepted last month.
Forebridge ward councillor, Chris Baron, added: “Opening a new shop would encourage other businesses to move in around there.
"You’ve got a few shops up there but the rest is pretty dreary really.”