The new opening at Westfield aims to be a "Home" hub for customers.
Home furnishing company Habitat opened its first stand-alone store since 2009 when new openings were stopped after private firm Hilco acquired it.
Since then, Habitat has seen some changes in ownership. It was bought by Home Retail Group (HRG), back in 2011, in a multi-million-pound transaction. HRG (who also own ‘Homebase and Argos’) paid a staggering £24.5 million to gain ownership over the Habitat’s intellectual property, its brand designs, and the UK website. The deal led to the closing of 30 Habitat stores in the UK, except three other stores which remained open in London (King’s Road, Tottenham Road, and Finchley Road). It has been two years since Saintsbury’s purchased the brand in April 2016 leading to a significant change in ownership once again. The deal is estimated to have cost £1.4 billion which led to over 70 habitat stores closing down because Homebase and Argos went to different owners.
Current owner Sainsbury's is believed to have shelled out a whopping £1.5 million for this new venture, which is one of the two new stores that they had planned to open in 2018. Customers of the brand can look forward to the second store opening this year, which should be in November at Brighton’s town center.
It is the third biggest Habitat store in the United Kingdom, and it is part of the ‘Home’ hub section of Westfield London, along with several other Home furnishing brands. It will feature a collection of Habitat’s trademark products such as furniture, textiles, lights and other home accessories.
Occupying a sprawling 4700 sq. Ft, the new store will have over 1400 items that will bring some of Habitat’s best designs and products to customers at Westfield. The store itself has been designed by Habitat’s very own designers to feature a look and feel that is in tune with the brand’s business approach.
Managing Director of Habitat, Clare Askem recounted how thrilling it was to associate with Westfield London and mentioned that it was the ideal location for Habitat stores to make a store-comeback after almost a decade. Askem also explained that the new venture was aimed at meeting the needs of customers who want to shop in physical stores as much as they do in Habitat’s online retail. This new opening technically becomes the first Habitat store of this size, in such a prominent shopping mall. The store will offer a more complete Habitat experience as compared to other smaller outlets elsewhere.
The new store will include some additional products taken from the brand’s site which has over 4500 items you can browse online.
Understanding the need for customer assistance, the store will have 15 ‘store colleagues’ who will assist customers in perusing and purchasing any product. These store employees will help customers by explaining the features of different products and items that are available in the store.
Regular customers will be happy to know that, come November, the second store will be unveiled in the city center in Brighton. It will be a part of Hanningtons Estate’s investment in the shopping area located in the well-known Brighton Lanes.