Julie Paul and Lauren Bertollini check out silk flowers selections on the opening day of At Home at Macomb Mall. DAVE ANGELL — FOR THE MACOMB DAILY
Patricia Tabaczynski was among the first customers browsing through items on the opening day of At Home, the new home decor store that took over a portion of the former Sears store at Macomb Mall in Roseville.
“We’ve been watching this space ever since Sears closed,” the Fraser resident said as she shopped with her boyfriend, Joe Nelson. “When we saw the At Home sign going up, I said ‘that’s going to be cool.’”
A steady stream of shoppers visited the 87,000-square-foot home decor superstore at the mall on Gratiot Avenue at Masonic Boulevard when it opened on Wednesday.
It’s the company’s second location in Macomb County and one of several new businesses planned for the section of Gratiot between 12 Mile and 14 Mile roads.
The Plano, TX-based retailer invested $3 million in renovating a section of the Sears store into an At Home, according to store director Paul Gladki. Company officials decided not to use the second floor.
“We’re going to have 10 times the merchandise of other stores at every price point,” said Gladki, a Roseville Brablec High School graduate. “This will be the place your wife will want to go to get out of the house on Super Bowl Sunday.”
At Home’s opening comes five months after Sears shut its doors for good following 53 years at a key tenant in the mall, one of more than 200 stores the company closed in the past year due to declining sales and the rise of online shopping.
Although Macomb Mall is owned by Bloomfield Hills-based Lormax Stern, the Sears section is owned by a Sears-affiliated entity called Seritage Growth Properties.
The Sears auto center has been converted to a DieHard Auto Center.
Matt Drozd, Lormax Stern’s director of property management, expects At Home will attract more shoppers because its stores are popular. The remaining Sears space is expected to be filled by another retailer.
At Home boasts more than 50,000 home decor items, including textiles, curtains, candles, rugs, lampshades, furniture, mattresses, padded accent chairs, mirrors, wedding supplies, artwork, frames and knick-knacks.
According to a mural on the store’s wall, At Home has the “largest assortment of home decor at the lowest prices in the industry for inside and outside the home.”
Roseville Mayor Robert Taylor predicts At Home will be successful in the city.
“My wife pointed out that we have a lot of older homes owned by families that are interested in refurbishing them,” the mayor said. “So I think they’ll do well.”
Cynthia Greene of Eastpointe liked what she saw on her first visit.
“My initial impression is they have some beautiful and unique items in this store,” she said. “I’ll be back.”
At Home has 150 stores in 34 states. Gladki said the company’s goal is to eventually have 600 stores.
There will be an open house for the Roseville location at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17.
Replacing Sears with At Home marks a significant change for the Gratiot/Masonic section of Roseville, which is home to numerous retailers and restaurants.
Pizza Hut, a longtime eatery on the Gratiot strip, recently relocated to a strip mall on Gratiot near 14 Mile Road, while its former building on Gratiot near Masonic has been demolished.
A Panda Express, a casual Chinese restaurant, will be constructed in its place later this year.
Mayor Taylor also said there has been interest expressed by a hotel firm in the now-closed Erin Presbyterian Church on Gratiot at Common Road. That’s in addition to a 100-room, $8.5 million Holiday Inn Express under construction behind the Kroger Fuel Center on Gratiot, south of 13 Mile Road.
“We have a lot of people interested in Gratiot, it’s just a matter of them signing on the dotted line. It shows we’re open for business in Roseville,” Taylor said.