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talkingshop


Monday February 4 2019 THE NATIONAL MOTORCYCLE MUSEUM, BIRMINGHAM


Habitat unveils Brighton flagship Habitat launched a new stand-alone flagship store in Brighton city centre last month


frameworks, open shelving and tabletops to showcase a wide range of different product styles alongside each other. “We’ve aimed to punctuate the journey through the whole store with drops of exciting and colourful collections which reflect us at our most ‘Habitat’,” comments visual merchandising manager Amy Rich. “Long tables with heavily stacked product give a


marketplace feel, encouraging customers to touch and feel products - and are ideal for the customers who like to take time to shop and make their creative decision, especially with our handcrafted products which differ from piece to piece.”





T


his is our first city centre flagship store for 10 years so it’s a really exciting development for us - and an example


of how we’re evolving store formats and services to suit how customers are shopping for homewares.” So says Clare Askem, managing director of Habitat. She is referring to the housewares chain’s latest shop, which opened in Brighton on November 9. The 6,500sq ft branch, at 23-25 North Street, is the


retailer’s third largest store in the UK and features more than 3,000 products across housewares, furniture, lighting, textiles and home accessories. “As our digital sales go from strength to strength,


we’re also seeing customers who want to shop in an immersive environment and touch and feel the Habitat products we create,” Clare explains. “Our long heritage with Brighton means we have many fans who have been asking us to return with a


city centre store, so we felt that to launch our first inspirational flagship environment would really work here. “Since we’ve opened our doors, we’ve had a phenomenal reaction from customers delighted to see us back. We’re now looking forward to making this store a real design hub for Brighton, by creating an inspirational atmosphere in which to shop, with regular local collaborations and customer workshops to hero the creative spirit of the city.” Habitat has already introduced a collaborative


project, partnering with three local artists. Their artwork has been translated into a limited edition series of rugs that are available to buy in the Brighton store. Habitat plans to continue this project each year, asking local artists to submit artwork to be turned into products that will feature in the Habitat collection. Designed by the Habitat Design Studio, the store is housed across ground and basement floors. The ground floor is mainly allocated to housewares, upholstery and home accessories, while downstairs features bedroom furniture, office, and textiles. Habitat senior designer Matthew Long says: “The


interior design here is stripped right back so that there are minimal visual distractions - no large digital screens, imposing fixtures or dramatic architectural details - so customers focus on the products themselves. “The layout too has been designed to draw you


down towards the larger basement level to see the wider collection. So we’ve incorporated glass surrounds for light flow, light oak flooring, a lighting installation and a dramatic central cobalt blue metal stairwell that greets you as you enter the store, to immediately make you aware that there is more to explore downstairs.” Fixturing is minimal too, with stripped back


34 | housewareslive.net • HousewaresLive.net • twitter.com/Housewaresnews December 2018


A total of 17 staff work in the branch, on-hand to explain product features and highlight additional options from Habitat’s 4,500 product collection online at www.habitat.co.uk that can be ordered for home delivery or Click & Collect from over 2,000 locations in the UK. Habitat now has four stand-alone flagship stores


at: Tottenham Court Road in London (25,000sq ft), Finchley Road in London (18,000sq ft), Westfield London-White City (4,700sq ft) and Brighton, as well as a 2,000sq ft Mini store in Leeds. There are 11 Mini Habitat stores (in Sainsbury’s


supermarkets) which measure around 2,000sq ft and stock 600-plus products. The Habitat brand has been owned by Sainsbury’s since September 2016.


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