THE high street’s week from hell was topped off when most of Habitat went bust yesterday.
Around 750 jobs are at risk after 30 of the furniture chain’s shops were placed in administration.
But 150 posts were saved after the Home Retail Group – owner of DIY chain Homebase – bought three stores in central London for £24.5million, plus the Habitat name and website.
The sale will ensure the Habitat name lives on in the UK, with Homebase opening concessions in around 25 of its branches. The move came at the end of what has been a horrific week for Britain’s retail trade.
The group behind Dolphin Bathrooms and Moben Kitchens is on the brink of collapse, threatening nearly 3,000 jobs. Electrical chain Comet was put up for sale after crashing to its first loss in 16 years while rival Dixons plans to slash £150million as it plunged into the red.
The carnage could also get worse as yesterday was “quarter day” for many shops, when they need to hand over rent for the next three months.
Richard Dodd, of the British Retail Consortium, said: “It’ll put more pressure on companies. For those struggling it could prove the final straw.”
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