"Quelle horreur. One of our last brilliant British retaliers [sic] Habitat has gone into administration. Part being bought by Homebase! OMG!" Thus tweets self-styled 'Queen of Shops' Mary Portas.
Fact: Habitat UK Ltd last recorded an operating profit in 2004/05, when it made £1.9m on sales of £118m - a distinctly unimpressive operating margin of less than 2%. Since then it has lost money every year: £3.3m at operating level in 05/06, then £10.2m, then £11.7m, and nearly £20m in 2008/09, the latest year for which accounts have been filed. Accounts for the year to March 2010 should have been filed six months ago at the latest, but there's no sign of them yet.
Just remind us, your majesty: which part of this miserable record demonstrates Habitat's "brilliant" retail abilities?
Subsequent tweet from MP: "And the thought of Homebase bodging up and running Habitat makes me want to weep". This would be the same Homebase which until quite recently employed a PR agency named Yellow Door, which is owned by Mary Portas ...
27 June 2011 | 11:00 |