Terence Conran opened his first store in Fulham Road, Chelsea to market his brand of furniture called “Summa,” together with his then wife Caroline, Philip Pollock and model Pagan Taylor. The company quickly grew and expanded throughout the United Kingdom, and in 1973, the company opened its first international store in Paris.
In 1981, Habitat was floated on the London Stock Exchange and the following year merged with the Mothercare Group to form Habitat Mothercare Group PLC. In 1983, Habitat bought furniture retailer Heal’s and fashion chain Richard Shops. In 1986, Habitat merged with British Home Stores to form Storehouse PLC, and in 1992 IKANO purchased Habitat from Storehouse. After several years of trading losses, the company was put up for sale and was bought by Hilco, a restructuring specialist in 2009. After two years, Hilco put Habitat up for administration and Habitat was purchased by the Home Retail Group.
Since the Home Retail Group bought Habitat, several mini Habitat stores were opened across the UK. In 2012, mini Habitat stores were opened in Ruislip, followed by stores opening in Ewell, Solihull, Battersea, Leeds, Orpington, Horsham, Truro, and Bracknell. Habitat announced that by the end of 2013 there would be 14 mini Habitat stores across the UK.