Design team to stay in Habitat sale

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The in-house design team at Habitat will remain under new UK brand owner Home Retail Group and a separate design team will be developed as a buyer is sought for the company’s European operation.

Habitat’s UK arm was sold last week to HRG, which owns Argos and Homebase, by former owner Hilco UK. The move will see Habitat’s three London flagship stores continue to operate, while the 30 stores outside the capital look set to close.

Phil Wrigley, executive chairman of Habitat, says, ’The sale of the brand and three flagship stores to Home Retail Group secures the future of Habitat and will enable the business to move forward in the UK with the benefit of the group’s multi-channel strength.’

A Habitat spokeswoman says the in-house design team, which has been headed up by Theo Williams since 2007, will remain in place during the ’transitional period’.

The spokeswoman says a separate team, which may incorporate people from the current design team, will be put in place as Hilco seeks to sell Habitat’s European arm to another buyer.

Hilco says it is in ’advanced talks’ to sell Habitat’s European offer, which comprises stores in France, Spain and Germany, as well as franchise arrangements in Belgium and Luxembourg.

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