Kohl's is mulling a takeover of home decor retailer At Home, Reuters reported Wednesday, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.
Reuters previously reported that At Home was in talks to sell itself, and on Wednesday noted that it's close to a potential sale to private equity after three months of exploration.
Kohl's said "We do not comment on speculation," in response to Retail Dive's request for comment regarding its interest in At Home. At Home declined to comment regarding its exploration of a sale or any discussions with Kohl's or investment firms.
Kohl's isn't overly burdened by debt and may be able to easily swing the kind of acquisition that Reuters' sources say is possible.
Such a move would help the retailer join the fervor in the furniture and home goods category. Competition has grown fierce, with players like Pottery Barn already well established and online and new entrants like Joybird taking share. Amazon, Walmart and Target all launched new furniture and home goods private labels in recent months, as legacy players like Ikea, Pottery Barn and West Elm boosted their e-commerce sales. J.C. Penney, which like At Home is based in Plano, Texas, is an outlier, having discontinued furniture sales earlier this year.
Unlike Amazon, Walmart and e-commerce furniture and home goods pure-player Wayfair, however, At Home's operations are centered on brick and mortar. Last year the company expanded its footprint by nearly 21% to 180 stores in 37 states, and has a long-term goal of running more than 600 stores nationwide, the company said in March.
In its first quarter, At Home reported that net sales rose 20.6% to $354.1 million, driven by the net addition of 31 stores in the quarter and a 2.1% store comps rise. Gross profit in the quarter rose 18%, operating income rose 22.2% to $44.6 million and net income soared to $29.6 million from $9.9 million in the previous quarter.