A popular homeware retailer will open its first high street stand-alone store in more than a decade in Brighton.
Habitat, which closed its doors in Churchill Square seven years ago, has announced it is returning to the city, with a shop in the old Hanningtons department store.
The news comes at a difficult time for the high street, with several businesses announcing store closures this year, including House of Fraser, Maplin, New Look, Toys R Us and Poundworld.
Clare Askem, managing director of Habitat, said: “Habitat opened one of its first stores here back in 1969 so we’re thrilled to be returning to a city that has a lot of historical love for our brand. 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.
“This city has always had its own unique atmosphere which we wanted to make central to our return so we’re thrilled to be working on a collaborative project with local artists from the area to launch a celebratory collection of products especially for Brighton for when we open in October.”
The store will move into North Street as part of the revamp of Hanningtons department store, which is also home to Cath Kidston, Kurt Geiger and Tiger.
Habitat said its new Brighton store will be its third largest in the UK when it opens in October.
It will be housed across two floors on the ground and basement levels of 23-25 North Street, and will feature wrap around store-front windows leading onto The Lanes.
The store will also include an events space which will house regular workshops, talks and installations from local collaborators.
The masterplan for Hanningtons Estate includes the creation of a new ‘Hanningtons Lane’, a new entrance to the Lanes from North Street, residential and office space and new units for retailers, restaurants and cafes.
Andrew Foulds, portfolio director at developer Redevco, said: “Our vision for the North Street element of Hanningtons Estate was to extend the premium retail offer already found in East Street and attract completely new brands to Brighton.
“There are few brands that are as well-known or quintessentially British as Habitat. Launched by Sir Terence Conran in 1964, the retailer has always led the way with affordable, contemporary and stylish homeware.
“It complements existing retailers such as Cath Kidston, Kurt Geiger, Flying Tiger, Sandro, Maje, Bobbi Brown and White Company perfectly.
“We also have deals with other exciting brands in solicitors’ hands, not just for North Street, but for the smaller units within the new Hanningtons Lane. Here the mix will be smaller, quirky but premium retailers, mixed with local names that Brightonians will be familiar with.”
Work started on the development in February 2017 and is set to be complete by the end of the year.