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Argos & Homebase owner to buy Habitat

Home Retail Group, the owners of the Argos and Homebase retail chains, is in talks to buy the firm.

Habitat has 71 stores worldwide, including 35 in the UK, 26 in France, five in Spain and five in Germany, employing 2,100 staff.
Sir Terence Conran founded the company in London in 1964, opening his own store to market his Summa range of furniture.
The first Habitat store was opened in Fulham Road in Chelsea by Conran, his then wife Caroline and the model Pagan Taylor.

Habitat was sold by the IKANO Group, owned by the Kamprad family, in December 2009 to Hilco, a restructuring specialist.
Argos Retail Group was created with the combination of Argos, the GUS home shopping businesses in the UK and Europe and the Reality UK home delivery operations.

In December 2002 GUS acquired Homebase, which operated from 272 stores.

The acquisition expanded the combined product portfolio of Argos and Homebase and offered the opportunity to increase sales in common products areas – indoor and outdoor furniture, homewares, gardening products and power tools.

Source : Mark Kleinman - Sky News

23 June 2011
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