Why this retailer is seeing a triple-digit sales surge

Selling affordable home furnishings while everyone is still trapped at home — perhaps a new home at that — because of a health pandemic is a good business to be in at the moment.

Just ask Lee Bird, CEO of retailer At Home.

“And the first quarter continues that momentum [from the fourth quarter]. We guided the Street for over 142% to 153% [same-store sales growth] for the quarter. All of our stores were closed for six weeks in March because of COVID last year. But we just see no change in our business right now,” Bird told Yahoo Finance Live.

Bird says consumers are shopping most departments within At Home’s 225 or so locations.

And At Home isn’t alone in partaking in the home furnishings boom that saw retail sales in the category almost triple in February 2021 from the low in April 2020, according to Census Bureau data.

High-end retailer Williams Sonoma said earlier this month fourth quarter same-store sales rose 25.7%. Sales popped in all of the company’s brands: Williams Sonoma ( 26.2%); Pottery Barn ( 25.7%); Pottery Barn Kids ( 25.7%); and West Elm ( 25.2%).

To be sure, it was a good 2020 for Bird and At Home, too, as people upgraded the look of their confines.

At Home’s same-store sales surged 19.4% in 2020. Adjusted operating profits rose to $246.1 million from $80.1 million a year earlier. Shares of At Home have exploded more than 1,300% over the past year.

Bird is now eyeing more aggressive store expansions — notably in underserved states for the brand in California and New York — in a bid to reach 600 locations over time.

“We believe we could get to 600 stores comfortably. We are confident in that number. It’s a real growth driver for us. We just announced it would go up to 15 [new store openings this year],” Bird adds.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

What’s hot from Sozzi:

Watch Yahoo Finance’s live programming on Verizon FIOS channel 604, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Samsung TV, Pluto TV, and YouTube. Online catch Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, SmartNews, and LinkedIn.