Bethany Clough

What’s that construction in the old Clovis Kmart? A new-to-us national chain store

The front of the old Kmart in Clovis has been ripped down and construction workers are busy hauling out debris.

Just who are they preparing the store for?

It’s a newbie to our area, a home decor store called At Home, The Home Decor Superstore.

The national chain has 200 stores in 40 states, and the company’s based in Plano, Texas.

But don’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of it. The retailer opened its first store in California earlier this year, in Foothill Ranch near Irvine.

It has three stores in the state, all in Southern California.

What is it?

At Home stores are huge, averaging 110,000 square feet and selling 50,000 items.

The former Kmart store, at 1075 Shaw Ave., is a little smaller, at 93,257 square feet. It closed in November 2018.

At Home stores sell furniture, rugs, kitchen items, wall decor, bedding, lighting and lots of seasonal decor. Most products are generic brands or brands created for At Home.

Photos show a home decor store that is less like HomeGoods and more like a Lowe’s, with tall metal stacked shelves. Some show long aisles of only throw pillows, separated by color.

“We enable a self-service model that minimizes in-store staffing needs and allows us to deliver exceptional value to our customers,” the company says on its website.

At Home didn’t return messages seeking details about the Clovis store.

The City of Clovis confirmed the company has a demolition permit and has begun gutting the building. It won’t be torn down entirely, but it’s the the first step in remodeling the building.

Massive expansion

You will probably see a lot more At Home stores soon. The retailer is on a massive expansion kick.

It could open up to 80 stores in California, and bring its nationwide total number of stores to more than 600, according to the publication Chain Store Age.

The Clovis location could open in spring of next year, said Shawn Miller, business development manager for the City of Clovis.

Bethany Clough covers restaurants and retail for The Fresno Bee. A reporter for 20 years, she now works to answer readers’ questions about business openings, closings and other business news. She has a degree in journalism from Syracuse University and her last name is pronounced Cluff.