Page last updated at 11:05 GMT, Sunday, 18 October 2009 12:05 UK

Habitat furniture chain for sale

Habitat store front
Habitat is owned by the family of the founder of Ikea

Furniture store Habitat may be put up for sale, the company's chief executive has said.

Mark Saunders said the retailer had launched a review, "which may or may not lead to a sale of the company".

The company was founded by designer Sir Terence Conran and is renowned for introducing cutting-edge design to the high street in the 1960s.

It is currently owned by the family of Ingvar Kamprad, the billionaire founder of the Ikea furniture chain.

But it has been the success of Ikea that has hit retailers such as Habitat, with the recession and housing market slump meaning consumers are spending less on furniture and opting more and more for flat-packed options.

Mr Saunders said that "no decision has been made yet" and that his "focus is to continue giving great service to our customers".

He added that the expansion programme was continuing, including "the launch of a number of new stores over the next few months in the UK and Europe, such as Liverpool".

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