Habitat is back: five months after its liquidation, the furniture brand is relaunching online

Habitat is back: five months after its liquidation, the furniture brand is relaunching online

Le site doit rouvrir dans quatre à cinq semaines. MAXPPP – STEPHANE MORTAGNE

La marque d'ameublement Habitat va se relancer en ligne, cinq mois après la liquidation judiciaire de ses magasins, a annoncé ce mardi le groupe Cafom qui avait cédé en 2020 l'exploitation de l'enseigne tout en restant propriétaire de la marque

On December 28, the Bobigny court placed Habitat in liquidation due to its serious financial difficulties, thus sealing the fate of the brand founded in 1964 and which employed nearly 400 employees . Cafom has decided to take up the torch, hoping that a model based solely on online sales will be more successful.

"We are going to put the logistics service and the notoriety of vente-unique.com", a site of which Cafom is the main shareholder, "at the service of customers, to restore their confidence and smile", indicated Hervé Giaoui, chairman of the group's board of directors, during a press conference.

The nearly 9,000 customers harmed by the liquidation of the previous operator will be able to request a voucher on habitat.fr, management promised. The site should reopen in "four to five weeks", with some "iconic~60 models ~/em>" at first, she announced.

"Another phase begins"

Habitat France employed 315 employees and the parent company, Habitat Design International, 68. "For in-store employees, it will be very complicated", recognized Hervé Giaoui, who is not the employer of these employees.

Thierry Le Guénic, the buyer of Habitat in 2020, admitted to AFP in December that he had not "succeeded in taking on this challenge, just like the previous shareholders". "Another phase is opening, and we are now committed to helping find any reclassification solution for our employees", the businessman then indicated.

The Bobigny court had estimated in December that it " emerged from the report of the judicial administrator that it did not ;#39;there is no possibility of developing a recovery plan" and that the situation was "irreparably compromised" for Habitat, in particular "due to the lack of cash flow and the impossibility of using the brand& ;quot;.

The brand founded in 1964

The furniture industry experienced a post-Covid rebound, before stabilizing over the last two years. The sector's turnover had seen its turnover decrease by 2.5% to 14.6 billion euros in 2023, according to French Furniture. At the end of 2022, the Made.com site, another purely online furniture store, had already been placed in liquidation.

Nothing to discourage Cafom: "Doing better than Made.com, it's not difficult, that's what' #39;we have been doing this for 18 years with vente-unique.com which is a beneficiary", said Hervé Giaoui.

Habitat, which had 25 stores in France, was founded in 1964 by the British designer Terence Conran (died in 2020), with the aim of offering affordable furniture and objects decoration that is both sober, refined and modern.

The brand had previously belonged to the American investment fund Hilco and the Swedish Kamprad family (also owner of Ikea). In 2020, it was bought by the entrepreneur-investor Thierry Le Guénic, who acquired the same year of the clothing brand Burton of London, placed in receivership the following year. last summer and which did not find a buyer.

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