A new furniture store and showroom is slated to replace the shuttered Kmart on Bellflower Boulevard in East Long Beach.
At Home, the self-described “home decor superstore,” will open in the 118,320-square-foot property at 2900 Bellflower Blvd. in April, according to Carey Marin, a spokeswoman for the company. Marin said At Home does not have a specific opening date yet, but the company is planning a grand opening event for April 30.
The company has seen significant growth in recent years and has opened five new stores across the country since it was acquired by the San Francisco-based private equity firm Hellman & Friedman for $2.8 billion in July. At Home now operates 235 stores in 40 states, with more—including the one in Long Beach—on the way.
The brand’s recent success is in sharp contrast to the property’s former occupant, which was the final Kmart in Long Beach when it closed for good last year. The shuttering was just one of hundreds of similar store closures in recent years. The underperformance of Sears and Kmart stores across the country was a major factor in the Sears Holding Corporation filing for bankruptcy in 2018 and being acquired by the Connecticut-based hedge fund ESL Investments the following year. While widespread shutdowns of Sears and Kmart stores began under Sears Holding Corporation’s watch, ESL Investments has continued the trend.
At Home, meanwhile, chose to locate a new store in the space because of “the traffic and synergy with other best in class retailers,” Marin said in an email. “We look for high-traffic retail nodes with great access and in close proximity to our core customers.”
At Home typically employs about 25 people at each location, Marin said.
When customers get to shop at the Bellflower location later this year, the interior will likely be far different from the Kmart experience that locals were familiar with. Permits pulled from Long Beach’s Development Services Department for the location show the site has undergone significant work over the last year, including new storage rooms, employee offices, restrooms and a break room, along with structural changes to the storefront facade and new flooring, plumbing and shelving.
As for what will fill those shelves, Marin said At Home maintains an inventory of tens of thousands of home decor items “for every room, every style and every budget,” and the selection is always changing.
“At Home has a continually updated assortment, the latest trends and exciting seasonal products,” Marin said. “Hundreds of items arrive each week to provide fresh inspiration, and shoppers will discover new collections from designers Ty Pennington, Grace Mitchell, Tracey Boyd and Laila Ali.”