Habitat closed and sold stores last year in an attempt to reduce debts but today we learned that Habitats financial situation could not be recovered. Habitat has gone into administration.
The only high street store to be totally dedicated providing fashionalbe and stlyish home furnisihings has now gone.
Who Is Buying Habitat?
Home Retail Group are buying the Habitat brand and three of its London stores, the Tottenham Court Road, King’s Road and Finchley Road stores.
Home retail own Argos and Homebase, so this will mark a move into a more stylish high street product.
The remaining stores are likely to be sold of to the highest bidder by the administrators. Habitat has 30 additional stores across the UK which are now due for closure. They are likely to be operating for another 6 months, which will take them up to Christmas this year. It is likely they will have an aggressive sale to shift the last of the stock before closure.
Habitat was founded by Ternece Conran in 1964. He is a designer, retailer and restaurant manager and saw a gap on the high street market for stylish and affordable products for the home. In his first store he sold is Summa range of furniture.
Flotation and Merger
In 1981 Hanitat floated on the stock exchange and then the following year, in 1982, it merged with Mothercare Group to form the Habitat Mothercare Group Plc.
In 1986 it them merged with British Home Stores and was renamed Storehouse Plc.
In 1992 Habitat was sold to IKANO, the Swedish business which also own IKEA.
In 2009 IKANO sold Habitat to Hilco as it was making losses. Hilco is a restructuring specialist. They closed down some stores and sold them to restaurants to help pay off some debts.
June 2011 – Administration and Closures
June 2011 marks the beginning of the end for Terence Conran’s dream that is Habitat. The stores are being close down and sold off. Some may well remain is stylish high street furniture stores, however, the current trend is for more exclusive bars and restaurants in town centres.
The Chelmsford branch of Habitat was closed shortly after the Hilco takeover and is now shared between two restaurants.
Habitat Online Store Saved By Hilco
Habitat’s online presence was improved last year by new owners Hilco. Part of the restructuring plan means that in addition to the 3 flagship stores in London the eCommerce section of Habitat will also continue as it is.
Habitat will fulfil all online orders and Hilco are committed to ensuring that the Habitat brand continues to operate online.