Habitat has announced plans to roll out its mini store format inside four Sainsbury’s supermarkets by November after a successful trial in six locations.
The furniture retailer is eyeing locations in York, Manchester, Newcastle and London, and once opened there would be 10 mini-format Habitat stores in operation – all of which are a mixture of standalone stores or stores-within-stores.
Like the existing mini stores, the four new ones would take up 2000sq ft with an edited range of over 600 products across furniture, upholstery, lighting, homewares and textiles.
Habitat said more than 60 per cent of its sales was now made online through its website, and the aim of the mini stores-within-a-store is to allow customers to “touch and feel” their products before purchasing.
Customers also have the chance to browse and purchase from Habitat’s website via integrated in-store digital screens and iPads.
The news comes as the retailer rolls out a new click-and-collect service at over 2300 locations across the UK through Habitat stores and thousands of DPD pick-up points.
“We’ve learnt lots of lessons from our six trial mini stores in Sainsbury’s this year and these have been addressed in our upcoming store openings,” Habitat managing director Clare Askem said.
“We’ve refined our product range based on customer feedback, while our in-store visual merchandising and service proposition has been adapted to what customers want on a ‘weekly shop’ basis.
“Our customers increasingly want choice, flexibility and speed and we are evolving the brand into a truly multichannel business that allows customers to shop how and when they want – be that online, in-store or a combination of the two.”
She added: “We believe physical stores will remain important to Habitat which is why we are evolving our store offer and rolling it out to four further shops.”
Habitat is owned by Sainsbury’s.