Retailers Sports Direct and Uniqlo are set to move into former BHS stores in Watford.

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has bought the freehold of the former BHS store in Watford for £15m.

SEE ALSO: 'It is a community shop': BHS in Watford to close its doors for good

The 76,000 sq ft unit, which is located at 83-87 High Street next to the intu Watford shopping centre, was sold by LaSalle Investment Management on behalf of Coal Pension Properties, the property investment arm of the British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme (BCSSS) and the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme (MPS).

It was previously occupied by BHS until the department store chain fell into administration last summer and has been vacant since.

Sports Direct is understood to be fitting out the unit for its Flannels brand alongside its own eponymous label.

Green and Partners is understood to have advised LaSalle Investment Management on the sale of the unit.

Sports Direct is believed to have represented themselves.

There were 164 BHS stores across the country at the time of the retailer’s collapse in April last year, which led to 11,000 job losses and a £571m pension deficit.

In February Sir Philip Green, the chain’s owner until he sold it to Retail Acquisitions in 2015, agreed to pay £363m towards the pension deficit.

BHS’ demise was subject to a high profile parliamentary investigation last summer, which concluded that the “systematic plunder” of the company by its owners, past owners and advisors, leaving 20,000 peoples’ pensions at risk, was “the unacceptable face of capitalism”.

The last of the BHS stores closed in August last year and while several have been re-let or sold, the units traded so far have tended to be in the UK’s strongest town centres, with the majority still remaining vacant.