RIP: The late Terence Conran’s once high-flying Habitat is no more

Europe-based home furnishing chain Habitat has shut down all of its operations, just a month after collapsing into receivership.

The company’s trustees have initiated a final liquidation due to the lack of cash flow and a recovery plan.

As a result, all of the chain’s 25 stores in France will close and 383 employees will lose their jobs. The fate of five other shops in Barcelona, Geneva, Madrid, Milan and Zurich is unclear.

Parent company Habitat Design International, which employs 68 people and had a turnover of $84 million in 2022, will also cease to exist.

Habitat was founded by the late British designer Terence Conran in London in 1964. Conran opened his first store in Chelsea to market his Summa range of furniture. 

The chain expanded in the UK throughout the 1960s and marked its first overseas store opening in 1973 in Paris.

Industrialist Thierry Le Guénic took over the brand’s international operations from Cafom group in 2020, while the British branch went to supermarket group Sainsbury’s. Sainsbury’s now only sells a selection of interior products under the brand name.

Guénic said the brand has never been profitable in France and that the hoped-for turnaround has failed.

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