Habitat, a leading UK furniture retailer, last week announced it was going into administration. The high-street company will continue to trade in 3 of its London stores while over 30 of its other locations are said to face closure.
The Home Retail Group, the owner of the retailers Argos and Homebase, are known to have purchased the rights to the brand. The group have suggested their plans to maintain the branding and furniture designers of Habitat as well as the flagship London stores and the online side of the company.
Finance website This is Money reported that the future of the international side of the business is still in discussion. The sale of Habitat’s 27 French stores, 6 Spanish and 5 German is likely to include the branding.
While this will mean job losses and store closures, the Habitat name will not altogether disappear as yet.
Habitat’s presence in many of the UK’s busiest shopping districts made this company a familiar brand within the homes of style-conscious shoppers and design enthusiasts alike. Its launch in the early 60s saw an innovative move for the industry. Terence Conran, designer and founder of the company, set out to provide affordable, design-led quality that set his generation apart from that of his parents’. The heavy, traditional and practical pieces of the previous years were given a contemporary, youthful makeover.
The stores also revolutionized the experience of furniture shopping itself. The company brought a freshness to every aspect of the industry: from product design to exciting retail venues. With its own designers producing pieces that followed fashion as well as function, the stores gave people the experience of dressing, and styling, their living spaces.