Homewares, gardens and DIY specialist Home Retail Group (HRG) has confirmed the acquisition of the failed Habitat business in a statement today.
The deal will see HRG, which already owns Argos and Homebase, take over the brand, brand designs and intellectual property of Habitat in the UK & Ireland, whilst the Habitat UK website and three of the retailers London stores have also been saved.
It appears that the rest of the business will now fall into administration, with the future of the furniture retailer’s additional 30 UK stores plunged into doubt.
Terry Duddy, CEO of HRG, said: “The style led credentials of the Habitat brand, with its strong heritage, will be a significant addition to the group’s portfolio of own brands.
“In addition to operating the three London stores and the UK website, we will introduce Habitat products across the group including a number of concessions in Homebase stores.”
Habitat’s key London branches on the King’s Road, Finchley Road and Tottenham Court Road the ones to be saved, whilst around 900 jobs could be lost once the administrators get to work.
Other retailers such as Haldanes and Homeform Group have also just fallen into administration, just ahead of ‘quarter day’ when landlords take rental payments for the current three-month period.
The homewares market has been particularly hard hit in recent months due to the decline in ‘big ticket item’ spending, and HRG itself posted a 18 per cent decline in Argos profits last year.
Duddy added: “We will also look to develop the online proposition leveraging the award-winning multichannel strength of Home Retail Group.”