Sad news for fans of Sir Terence Conran and the European chain of affordable but stylish Habitat stores he started in the 1960s — The Daily Mail reports today, "The retailer, which has 33 stores in the UK, is expected to announce within days that it is being broken up." Designer/retailer Terence Conran opened the first Habitat shop in London in 1964 and sold his own furniture alongside the work of other designers. Before the introduction of IKEA in the UK, Habitat provided modern design at affordable price points, and it expanded over the 70s and 80s throughout Europe. The Daily Mail reports "Sir Terence left the business long ago and Habitat lost its way under the ownership of the Kamprad family, heirs to the Ikea fortune." In 2009, Hilco UK purchased Habitat from the Kamprad family.
We'll keep you posted as news develops...
Latest update via Associated Press at 11 am EDT: "Habitat UK, the once-trendy home furnishings retailer, was placed in administration Friday with only three British stores assured of survival. Home Retail Group bought the U.K. rights to the Habitat brand, its website and three stores in London for 24.5 million pounds ($39 million) in a sale arranged through the administrator, Zolfo Cooper LLP."
As far as we know at this point, the brand's other 30 stores remain in administration, their future unclear.
AROUND THE WEB
• Door Shuts on Habitat, Chain that Took the Swinging 60s by Storm | Daily Mail
• Habitat stores enter administration as part of sale | BBC News
• Habitat UK in administration; brand, 3 stores sold | Associated Press