At Home CEO says retailer can nearly triple the number of its stores

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At home CEO Lee Bird told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Thursday that business has grown exponentially during the pandemic and the company has expansion plans on the horizon.

As the home decor superstore invests in boosting its digital presence, the company continues to see opportunities in physical stores, which Bird called the “center of our universe.”

Currently operating about 220 stores in 40 U.S. states, the chief executive sees room for a slate of 600 locations, nearly three times its current footprint.

California, the New York Tri-State Area and Midwestern regions are targeted for expansion.

“We are losing a lot of money, but we have a lot of growth ahead of us,” Bird said in a “mad money” maintenance.

The comments came after Cramer asked Bird, who has run the $1.1 billion company for eight years, about the quarterly results the company released earlier this month from its third quarter of the year. fiscal 2021. Amid a home improvement boom during the pandemic, At Home’s business grew more than 47%, reaching $470 million for the quarter. Same store sales increased 44%.

Bird said it was a record quarter for sales, earnings and free cash flow. The company also focused on reducing debt on the balance sheet, he said.

“We have great momentum through the fourth quarter and we believe that will continue into next year,” he said. “We are growing three to four times the industry average. We are losing a lot of money, but we have a lot of growth ahead of us.”

At Home shares advanced 3% in Thursday’s session to close at $16.47. The stock is up nearly 200% year-to-date, though it trails its $28.3 billion competitor’s 215% gain in Wayfair.

“There’s a lot of growth ahead of us, and we think over time the market takes care of itself in terms of stock prices,” Bird said.

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