Loss-making Habitat could be put up for sale, according to reports this weekend.
Swedish owner, ICAF Antillen, which also owns Ikea, has appointed bankers Lazard to begin a strategic review of the homewares retailer. Ultimately, the business, which lost an accelerated £13.4m in the year to March 30 2008, could be sold on.
Habitat was successfully founded by Sir Terence Conran in 1964 but has increasingly lost its way, accused of overpricing and bad service.
However, chief executive Mark Saunders remains defiant, saying that no decision on the future of the company has yet been made, and that it is pressing on with its programme of new store launches.
The retailer currently has 38 outlets in the UK, and more in Europe. Model Helena Christensen recently launched its latest marketing programme from the windows of its Regent Street store. The This is my Habitat campaign also features Christensen across the London Underground and in both press and poster advertising.