Habitat has launched its first Mini Habitat store, within Sainsbury’s new Nine Elms branch on Wandsworth Road in south-west London.
The 2,000sq ft store is the first concession to be opened by the retailer inside a Sainsbury’s supermarket. It will be joined by four more Mini Habitat stores, ranging in size from 1,400sq ft to 2,000sq ft, in Reading, Solihull, Epsom and St Albans by early 2017.
The Mini Habitat stores will include an edit of more than 600 products – all designed by the Habitat design team in London – with a range of price points across furniture, upholstery, lighting, homewares and textiles.
Customers will be encouraged to interact with products as well as explore habitat.co.uk, on integrated digital screens and in-store iPads, to browse the full product portfolio of 4,500-plus products. Habitat staff will also be in-store to talk customers through products and highlight product options online that can be ordered for home delivery.
The interiors brand said it is looking to create a network of regional touch point stores to help support its multi-channel growth strategy. Investment in smaller footprint concession formats is aimed to further both online and offline brand awareness with new audiences, as well as increase online shopper confidence by allowing customers to ‘touch and feel’ product quality in convenient store locations.
Habitat managing director Clare Askem said: “This new relationship with Sainsbury’s offers the Habitat brand significant growth potential. “We’ve seen our brand evolve rapidly over the last few years, and the opportunity to create a new network of local stores, with a new national partner that will support our multi-channel business strategy, is a really exciting prospect.
“We’ll be working closely with Sainsbury’s on these pilot stores to understand the full potential of this format and gauge customer reaction. But I’m confident that our brand will connect with Sainsbury’s shoppers and make Habitat more accessible to shoppers, both on the high street and online.”
Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe added: “This is the start of an exciting new phase for us and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to open the first Mini Habitat so quickly in our new store at Nine Elms.
“Habitat is a fantastic, iconic brand which I’m sure will be very popular with Sainsbury’s customers, who will benefit from being able to shop across all of our brands under one roof.”