Habitat’s Swedish owner has begun a strategic review of the furniture retailer which may lead to a sale of the business.

ICAF Antillen, which also owns Ikea, has appointed financial advisors Lazard to advise it on the matter.

Habitat chief executive Mark Saunders said: “This is an ongoing process with a number of options currently under discussion. No decision has been made yet. My focus and the team’s focus is to continue giving great service to our customers, continue to push our new marketing drive across Europe and oversee the launch of a number of new stores over the next few months in the UK and Europe, such as Liverpool.”

Habitat has suffered from widening losses in recent years. It posted a pre-tax loss of £13.4m in the year to March 30, 2008, compared with £11m the year before.

The furniture retailer has 71- stores in Britain, France, Spain and Germany.