Home furnishings retailer Habitat has confirmed that all concession stores within Homebase are to close next month and has revealed a potential store network with Sainsburys is in ‘development’.
Habitat, backed under the Home Retail Group – which is currently going through a Sainsburys takeover after shareholders voted in favour of its £1.4bn bid that is expected to be completed in September – reported that its concessions are ‘not part’ Bunning’s ongoing business strategy, confirming that all Mini Habitat associated with Homebase will close as of September 2016.
Homebase was acquired by Bunning’s Australian owner Wesfarmers for £340m earlier this year and has acted quickly as it plans to rebrand the Homebase business.
Habitat confirmed that all staff within the impacted concession stores will be offered a role within the new Bunnings business and that the closures will not affect the ‘core’ Habitat business as it plans to invest in developing its website, flagship stores and seek retail opportunities with ‘suitable brand partners, including Sainsburys’.
Clare Askem, managing director of Habitat, said: “We’re really excited about the prospect of working with partners such as Sainsbury’s and the new opportunities that we can explore for the Habitat brand in the coming months. Over the last five years the Habitat brand has seen substantial growth, with significant multi-channel investment allowing us to evolve both our digital and in-store experience for customers, as well as the opportunity to refine our product offering and pricing structure.
“Today we’re in great shape with a digital business that is at the top of its game and our refurbished Tottenham Court Road flagship store that showcases our latest designs and direction. I look forward to building future retail partnerships with Sainsbury’s and other parties to develop the Habitat brand and continue our mission to bring affordable, directional design to the high street.”