Taskers seeks buyer for former Liverpool store

Liverpool homeware retailer Taskers appoints property agents at CBRE to find a buyer for its 4.6-acre Wavertree store which closed in 2017. Tony McDonough reports

Retailer Taskers is seeking a buyer for its former Wavertree store. Picture from CBRE


Property agents at CBRE are marketing the former Taskers homeware store in Wavertree which closed in 2017.

Taskers, one of Liverpool’s best-known brands and dates back to the 1950s, is looking to dispose of the 4.6-acre site which CBRE says is suitable for a number of uses including commercial and / or residential.

Last year it was reported that plans for a major housing development on the site on Wavertree Road had been scaled back. There were proposals for a 200-home development which was then cut down to 123 homes.

However, Taskers has now instructed CBRE to find a buyer for the whole site which comprises a vacant 120,000 sq ft retail warehouse, as well as associated surface level car park.

Agents say uses could include residential, student accommodation, offices, laboratory, education and hotel. Taskers will consider unconditional offers and subject to planning proposals.

Andrew Byrne, director, CBRE’s office agency team in Liverpool, said: “This represents a key opportunity to acquire a strategically-located site which is suitable for numerous redevelopment opportunities including offices and commercial.

“There has been limited levels of new build development and demand has therefore been restricted to existing building refurbishments.

“Undersupply in the Liverpool office market has seen demand levels being unmet and there remains a feeling that we need to tap into this unmet potential in the region.”

Taskers opened its first store in Goodison Road in Liverpool’s Walton district in the 1950s. It grew steadily to become one of Merseyside’s most trusted retail brands offering a large range of furniture and homewares.

However, over the past decade the business, which is owned by John Tasker, has had to adapt to a rapidly-changing retail environment with the rise of e-commerce affecting the viability of bricks and mortar homeware stores.

It closed the Wavertree outlet in 2017 and its Hunts Cross store closed in April this year. It means Taskers now operates out of the Aintree outlet it acquired in 1993. It also trades online.

Announcing the closure of the Hunts Cross store in March, John Tasker said: “The cost-of-living crisis, on the back of the COVID pandemic has led to a drop in consumer confidence and a significant fall in retail sales in our sector.

“This coupled with spiralling energy costs, very high business rates, increasing rent, along with changing customer habits and in particular the growth of online sales, has made the site uneconomical to operate.”


A Taskers store in Kirkdale in Liverpool in the 1950s. Picture from Taskers
Taskers existing store in Aintree. Picture from Taskers


In its most recently-published annual accounts, covering the year to February 28, 2023, Taskers reported revenues of £15m and pre-tax losses of more than £1m.

However, John Tasker attributed most of the loss to the soaring costs of importing goods from overseas during the year. Shipping costs had started to fall to more normal levels, he added.

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Claire Robinson, associate director at CBRE’s UK development and residential team, also said of the Wavertree site: “The Liverpool residential market has benefitted from a high level of investment and development over the past decade.

“There is, however, limited new development surrounding Mount Vernon Road, with the exception of the Paddington Village residential offering.

“This site represents an opportunity for more residential development to serve a growing population, predominantly young people aged 20 to 34 years, and a high proportion of renters.”

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