Habitat plans to open two new stand-alone stores this autumn – one in Westfield London in September, followed by another in Brighton town centre in October.

Sainsbury’s, which acquired Habitat in September 2016, is investing £1.5m in the two stores, marking the first major investment in Habitat’s store portfolio for a decade, and reflects a desire to address modern shopper demand for multichannel retail.

The 4700 sqft Habitat store opening in Westfield London, the largest shopping centre in Europe, will be part of the centre's effort to bring a number of furniture and home brands together to create a destination Home hub.

The store in Brighton will form part of the Hanningtons Estate redevelopment in the Brighton Lanes shopping area. Ranged over two floors, the 6500 sqft store will house around 3000 Habitat products, with room settings and a workshop and events space.

The two new stores complement Habitat’s multichannel strategy – a website which now accounts for 65% of turnover, plus two flagship stores, a 2000 sqft Mini store in Leeds, and 11 Mini Habitats in Sainsbury’s supermarkets. Alongside nationwide Click & Collect, this varied portfolio ensures customers have a choice of convenient ways to discover and purchase from the iconic brand.

MD Clare Askem says: “It’s a really exciting time for Habitat as we launch our first major standalone stores in 10 years. Stores are an important part of our growth strategy, as we know that our customers love to be inspired by our furniture and furnishings in immersive store settings, so we’re thrilled that these launches will bring us to key locations in Brighton and Westfield London where we have a lot of Habitat fans.

“As our digital business has grown, there has also been a real desire from customers to see Habitat on the high street. By investing for the future of the brand in this way, as well as continuing to differentiate ourselves with modern, statement design from our in-house Habitat Design Studio, we’re well placed to continue our heritage of bringing well-designed, inventive and affordable products to people’s homes.”