It looks like a Texas furniture retailer is preparing to take a seat at the Med City table.
A new building permit lists At Home - the Home Decor Superstore as the driving force behind a $2.36 million project to renovate the former south ShopKo store at 2820 US Highway 63. That store, along with ShopKo’s north Rochester location, closed in 2019.
The 90,000-square-foot store by Menard’s has remained mostly empty, since it closed. In 2020, seasonal retailer Spirit Halloween leased part of the store for a few months.
While the Plano, Texas-based At Home has not confirmed that it is coming to Rochester, the evidence suggests it is likely.
A building permit filed on Monday describes the project as, “Tenant improvement of the existing Shopko South building. Exterior refresh with new main entry, interior remodel with demolition of a portion of the mezzanine, new lighting and RTU's.”
The tenant is listed as At Home.
At Home, which has Minnesota stores in Blaine and Burnsville, is already revamping a former Wal-Mart store in St. Paul to serve as a new location.
The Texas company is in growth mode, which is being fueled by good economic returns. In its first quarter report for 2021, it reported net sales increased by 182.9 percent to $537.1 million compared to the same quarter in 2020.
At Home opened nine stores and closed two, during the first quarter. It currently has 226 stores in 40 states.
Assuming that At Home is coming, it will be interesting to see the impact the entry of this national furniture chain will have on Rochester, which already has several local and regional competitors in the furniture niche.