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Homebase announces plans for Habitat brand - DIY Week Exclusive

Home enhancement retailer will launch 800 Habitat products instore next year, including a branded paint and wallpaper range, while plans for Habitat concessions are being discussed.

Homebase managing director Paul Loft told DIY Week this morning that the retailer plans to introduce around 800 Habitat products into Homebase stores from next spring, following its acquisition of the premium homewares brand in June. He added that Homebase will also be working with the existing Habitat design team to develop a range of décor products, including wallpaper ranges.

Decisions are being taken over how the products will be merchandised in Homebase outlets. Mr Loft said the retailer was keen to get the presentation and product offer right but that any trial runs may need refining. "It's got to look like Habitat. We want to provide a convincing offer. Anything that's not been done before is a trial and, from my experience in retail, it's not landed completely the first time."

Mr Loft explained that the brand, which he believes is a great differentiator for the retail chain, will "play a big part in Homebase" and that the next step is to look at rolling out 2,000-3,000sq ft concessions in existing Homebase stores.

He said: "Negative views at the time of the acquisition were that it was a tired, old brand, that it had never made any money and that we would just shove it into sheds. I don't think it's a tired brand at all - I think it is a good strong brand and the reason it never made any money was more to do with its shops and the financial set up. Our job is to not just throw it into sheds and instead put it into the business in a compelling and convincing way."

Homebase is also working to develop the Habitat website to better support the brand going forward.

Read more in the November 4 issue of DIY Week.

Source: DIY Week

20 October 2011
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