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Habitat to return to Brighton

Habitat is to return to Brighton and Hove after a seven year absence as it joins the growing number of interiors retailers at Westfield London.

The chain is to open a two-floor store in the city in October as part of the redevelopment of the former Hanningtons department store site in North Street.

Habitat first opened in Brighton in 1969. In 2011 it closed its Churchill Square shopping centre store as part of the administration that saw then Argos owner Home Retail Group buy the brand.

‘We know we have lots of customers who live in Brighton. We were very sad to leave it back in 2011 and we have been trying to find a way to get back into the city ever since. We know there are a lot of creative people who are interested in design. It’s a perfect fit,’ said Clare Asken, Habitat md.

‘We don’t believe physical shopping is dead. Brighton is a really vibrant high street, with lots of reasons for customers to want to shop, which is why we chose the centre of town rather than an out-of town location.

‘Returning to Brighton’s high street has always been a passion project for me so we’re delighted it’s the first new high street store that we’re opening and in such an important new development.’

Some £1.5m is being invested in the 6,500sqft Brighton store and the 4,700sqft Westfield branch, which will open in September.

Following the openings Habitat will have four standalone stores, a 2,000sqft Mini store in Leeds and 11 Mini Habitats in Sainsbury’s supermarkets. Store makeup about 35% of sales. ‘As our digital business has grown, there has also been a real desire from customers to see Habitat on the high street. By investing for the future of the brand in this way, as well as continuing to differentiate ourselves with modern, statement design from our in-house Habitat Design Studio, we’re well-placed to continue our heritage of bringing well designed, inventive and affordable products to people’s homes,’ said Asken.