habitat city flagship store opens in brighton

Iconic interiors brand Habitat are returning to the city, opening a huge standalone store as part of Brighton’s Hanningtons redevelopment this week. Hanningtons was historically the most important retail destination in Brighton, referred to as ‘the Harrods of Brighton’, which closed in 2001 after nearly 200 years of trading, so it feels right that Habitat should be taking on this iconic location. With their flagship store in London and a mini showroom in Leads, Habitat’s new Brighton city-centre store will bring the brand right back to where it all started in 1969, opening their third largest in the UK (at 6,500sqft!) on Wednesday 7th November. We can only imagine how long we’ll be spending in there…

The first new major stand-along city-centre store that Habitat have opened in 10 years, it’s a pretty big deal. You may have seen their mini-stores within Sainsbury’s shops in the UK (there are 11), but this is the real deal and we’re chuffed that Brighton is where they wanted it. Part of Redevco’s redevelopment of the old Hanningtons store and unearthing the ‘lost lane’, the site will also be home to The Flint House, the latest addition to the iconic Gingerman restaurant group.

You may well have seen the store in the making, but once you get a chance to head inside this week, you’ll see the new North Street shop has two floors and is home to around 3,000 Habitat products from furniture and lighting to textiles and accessories. Uh-oh, we can see our wallet emptying… They’ll also be running workshops, talks and installations from local collaborators in their events space too, championing local artists and giving residents the opportunity to learn new skills. They’re kicking the collaborations off this week with the launch of a capsule collection of rugs from local artists Becky Blair, Sophie Abbott and Lauri Hopkins. And wow, do they look good. Priced from £400 and with just seven weeks until Christmas, we’d imagine these will make it onto quite a few lists.

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Head of Design, Kate Butler has some good news for budding Brighton artists, too: “For this first project, we’ve interpreted these ideas onto limited edition rugs, each handmade in India using different techniques to showcase the skills of one of our oldest textiles suppliers. We’ll be continuing this project in Brighton each year, asking new artists to work with Habitat’s own Design Studio on products that hero local talent and creativity. Stay tuned.” We love the sound of this.

So why is Brighton so special to the brand? “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,” said Clare Askem, Managing Director of Habitat. “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 returnm 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.”

The redevelopment kicked off in February 2017 and Redevco plan to create a new Lane, a new entrance to the Lanes from North Street, premium residential and office accommodation as well as reconfigure existing shops to provide exciting new spaces for retailers, restaurants and cafes.

Welcome back to Brighton, Habitat, we’re sure we’ll be seeing lots of you.

Opening Wednesday 7th November
Habitat, 23-25 North Street, Brighton, BN1 1EB