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Habitat opens first standalone store for a decade

Habitat has today opened its first standalone store in a decade, at the Westfield London shopping centre.

The 4,700sqft store, now Habitat’s third largest store in the UK, was designed by the chain’s in-house design studio and features more than 1,400 products across furniture, lighting, textiles and home accessories.

‘As we evolve the Habitat brand we’re conscious of catering for customers who increasingly want the choice of shopping in stores or online in a way that suits them. Alongside good digital growth we’ve seen a great reaction to our store format trials that allow customers to interact with our products in different retail environments. Westfield London will be our first large format store to offer customers a new immersive Habitat shopping experience within a major shopping centre and is aimed at those that who want the convenience of different fashion, home and entertainment retailers in one easy to shop location,’ said Clare Askem, Habitat md.

The store has a minimalist feel evolved from the 2016 redesign of its Tottenham Court Road, London flagship store. ‘The space has been built around a white cube framework that allows us to layer a variety of product, bright colour, shape and pattern on top without making it visually overwhelming for customers,’ said Matthew Long, Habitat senior designer for Habitat.

‘To make customers take time to appreciate the product, the interior design is stripped right back so that there are minimal visual distractions – no large digital screens, imposing fixtures or dramatic architectural details. The store is designed as a calm, inspiring environment where customers can browse product at their leisure.’

‘We want customers to go on an experience in this store and discover the many design aesthetics that exist within the Habitat collection,’ said Amy Rich, Habitat visual merchandising manager. ‘Both architecture and visual merchandising has been devised to draw the eye into the store from the main shopping centre walkways, starting with a wall of bold colour and pattern and being led through by the undulating design of the raft design at different ceiling levels, emerging at a dramatic, full height lighting installation at the back of store. We’ve purposely created a modern market-place feel with abundant, informal stacks of tactile products placed throughout this journey, to encourage customers to touch-and-feel designs as well as naturally flow through the space.’

November will see further expansion when the chain opens a 6,500sqft branch in Brighton. £1.5m is being invested in the two stores.