Whenever I am in London, I usually try to cram in a visit to Habitat on Tottenham Court Road.
I used to live close by, on Goodge Street, and it’s a favourite destination for me, usually resulting in at least one inconvenient impulse buy, but when you see something you love, and you know exactly where it will go … well, what can you do?
I was fed up when our large Habitat closed in Harrogate a few years back, but then we got a small department in Homebase, so at least that was something, until that closed last year too. Not happy.
But now – I am so excited – Habitat is back in the flesh in Yorkshire with a new branch opening this weekend at the retail park at Moortown on the outskirts of Leeds. And, there will be 15% off for the opening weekend.
Now, the history bit – the first Habitat was opened by Terence Conran on the Fulham Road in 1964, aiming to offer affordable, aspirational, inspirational home style, and bringing a bold, daring, contemporary new look to Britain (and introducing, among other home icons, the chicken brick, the duvet, beanbags and Le Corbusier chairs).
After taking over Habitat in 2011, Home Retail Group closed all the remaining regional stores, but integrated departments into some Homebase outlets. Then, last year, Sainsbury’s bought Home Retail Group, which includes Habitat and Argos, and is now trialling new retail forays, so there will be Mini Habitats within six Sainsbury’s supermarkets, while Leeds gets the first stand-alone regional store, next to Sainsbury’s at Moortown.
The in-house design team, headed by creative director Polly Dickens, remains, and there will be collaborations, with first with fashion designer Henry Holland whose range will launch in March, described as a “bright mix of bohemian florals, slogans and punchy ginghams transposed on to velvets, wools and cottons via print, embroidery and patchwork”.
The sales at Habitat are always some kind of wonderful. Back last October, in London, I snapped a mirror for me wishlist (picture higher up the post – I never manage to co-ordinate). Then, browsing last week, I found that it had been reduced from £60 to £24. It was calling out to me … and I answered.
This weekend, Habitat, here I come. Welcome back to Yorkshire. Find out more on http://www.habitat.co.uk/