Habitat opens new city-centre Brighton store
Habitat has opened a new flagship store in Brighton on the city’s North Street. The move marks the brand’s first city-centre opening in ten years.
Part of the Hannington Estate redevelopment, the 6,500 square foot shop is Habitat’s third largest in the UK.
Designed by an in-house team, the store features over 3,000 products from the Habitat collection across, furniture, lighting, textiles and home accessories.
Clare Askem, managing director of Habitat, said: “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. 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.”
The store has both ground and basement floors and has a pared back, industrial feel with metallic piping, raw concrete surfaces and exposed brick walls painted in white. Customers are first greeted by a central cobalt blue metal stairwell with a glass wrap-around balustrade that enables them to see directly down into the larger basement level from street level. A dramatic lighting installation hangs above the staircase which will change regularly with new lighting designs.
Matthew Long, senior designer for Habitat, said: “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 that customers focus on the products themselves.”
Amy Rich, Habitat’s visual merchandising manager, added: “Long tables with heavily stacked product give a market place feel, encouraging customers to touch and feel products and are ideal for the customer who like to take time to shop and make their creative decision, especially with our handcrafted products which differ from piece to piece.”
The shop also features an installation space area that will house a range of special collections and host workshops and events.
The store employs 17 staff members who will be on-hand to explain product features and highlight additional product options from Habitat’s 4,500 product collection online.
Habitat has also unveiled a collaborative project partnering with local artists from the area. Artwork by Sophie Abbott, Becky Blair and Lauri Hopkins is featured in a limited-edition series of rugs that will retail at 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.
Andrew Foulds, portfolio director at Redevco, owner and developer of the Hanningtons Estate, said: “We are delighted to see the new Habitat flagship store open within the Hanningtons Estate. Our vision for the North Street element of the redevelopment project, was to extend the premium retail offer already found in East Street and attract the very best brands to Brighton. This first new store opening demonstrates that if you create the right environment for retailers, they will come.”
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