HomeBase Inc. opened 17 House2Home home-decor stores from Bakersfield to Victorville over the Memorial Day weekend as part of its plan to exit home-improvement retailing.
The Irvine company plans to open 20 more stores in June and July as it replaces some of its HomeBase home-improvement stores with House2Home stores.
The retailer is converting the namesake locations to decorating and furnishings stores because of increasing competition from Home Depot Inc. and Lowe's Cos., the two largest U.S. home-improvement retailers.
In Orange County, HomeBase opened House2Home stores in Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Santa Ana and Stanton.
The stock rose 32 cents to $3 Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.
The company opened homedecor stores in five test markets last year and will have converted 42 HomeBase stores in California, Arizona and Nevada by the end of July.
In March, HomeBase said it planned to fire at least 2,740 people, more than one-fourth the company's work force, as it closes stores in Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Texas and Utah.
The company plans to shut 47 stores this year.