By JACK WEATHERLY
At Home will fill a major hole in the retail lineup along County Line Road left when Sam’s Club vacated its 128,000-square-foot quarters in August.
Plano, Texas-base At Home wasted no time in grabbing the property, having its permits in hand by November, according to spokeswoman Stacey Sullivan.
Its arrival will precede the arrival of a 50,000-square-foot Burlington Stores in nearby County Line Plaza, which is expected to open its doors in about a year, Brixmor Properties Group told the Mississippi Business Journal in early January.
At Home will bring its inventory of 50,000 “unique” items to the property and open its doors in early summer, Sullivan said.
Formerly Garden Ridge, At Home competes with Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot and Lowe’s along with HomeGoods, Pier 1 Imports and Bed Bath and Beyond, Chief Executive Officer Lee Bird was quoted in The Dallas Morning News as saying shortly after the company changed its name in 2014.
“We’re never going to be Crate & Barrel or Restoration Hardware, but we’ll have good, better and best at super prices,” Bird said.
The chain carries some brand names, such as OXO, Oneida and Henckels knives.
There are 12 broad product categories – including furniture (interior and patio), wall décor, kitchen and dining and bed and bath items, according to a company release.
The store at 6360 Ridgewood Court Drive will be the third At Home in the state. The other two are in Gulfport and Hattiesburg.
There will be three full-time positions – store director, customer service manager and operations manager – along with 22 part-time jobs, according to Sullivan.
AEA Investors, one of the oldest private equity firms in the nation, bought Garden Ridge in 2011 with an eye toward refocusing the company, which had gone through bankruptcy restructuring in 2004.
One thing that had to go was the name, which prompted some people to ask: “Where’s the lawn fertilizer?” Bird said.
By 2014, the stores’ color scheme had changed as well. Gone was the dominant orange and in its place was gray.
The chain opened 18 stores in 2015 and anticipates 20 more in the next fiscal year, according to a release from the company.
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