Kmart closed a big-box store on a heavily trafficked stretch of U.S. 30 in Merrillville last month, but it won’t stay vacant very long.
Home decor superstore At Home plans to open in the empty store at 101 Lincoln Highway. The Plano, Texas-based chain will open this summer, employing about 25 workers, spokeswoman Julie Flowers Conley said.
“At Home allows customers to express their personal style with any budget by choosing from an expansive selection of more than 50,000 items — wall art and decorative accents, rugs, housewares, patio furniture, home furnishings, seasonal and holiday décor,” she said. “Employing an everyday low pricing model, At Home is dedicated to allowing customers to affordably make their house into a home.”
At Home has more than 100 big box stores nationwide, including in Indianapolis, Greenwood and Noblesville. The closest locations are Aurora and Schaumburg in Illinois. The fast-growing company eventually hopes to expand to as many as 600 stores, which are usually around 120,000 square feet.
The company’s strategy is to identify trends in home decor and then come up with inexpensive products, often off-brand or unlabeled, similar to how grocery stores like Aldi and Trader Joe’s keep prices down.
Renovations are currently underway in the Merrillville storefront Kmart had occupied for 42 years. It sits near the busy intersection of U.S. 30 and Broadway, where more than 43,000 vehicles pass through every day, according to Indiana Department of Transportation figures.
“The store is being redesigned to enhance the self-help shopping experience, making it easier for customers to find exactly what they need and make themselves feel At Home,” Conley said.
At Home does not have any immediate plans for any additional locations in Northwest Indiana, she said.
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