Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.


Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.

Infobox_Company
company_name = Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.
company_type = Private
company_
company_slogan = We want to be the best furniture company
foundation = 1945
location = Arcadia, Wisconsin, USA
key_people = Ronald G. Wanek, Todd R. Wanek
num_employees = 18,000| revenue = $3.3 billion USD
industry = Furnishings
products = Upholstered furniture and casegoods
homepage = [http://www.ashleyfurniture.com/ www.ashleyfurniture.com]

Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc. (also known as Ashley Furniture, or just simply as Ashley) is a privately owned manufacturer and importer of bedding and home furniture. Ashley is the largest furniture manufacturer in the world, and its primary retail store chain, Ashley Furniture HomeStores, Ltd. (also know as Ashley Homestores), is the largest furniture retailer in the United States. In 2006, sales were $3.3 billion with over 18,000 employees worldwide.

History

Ashley Furniture was founded in 1945 by Carlyle Weinberger as a retail company. Ashley’s specialty was wooden occasional furniture. It would buy up goods made by local companies and market them in Chicago. At the time, Chicago was the premier place for furniture introductions and sales for the entire industry.

In 1970, Ashley Furniture invested in a small company from Arcadia, Wisconsin. The company’s name was Arcadia Furniture, and Ron Wanek founded it. Wanek grew up on a dairy farm near Winona, Minnesota, and he began his career working in a furniture factory there. Arcadia Furniture began by manufacturing occasional tables for Ashley Furniture. The company’s facility was a 35,000 square foot factory. The firm employed 35 people, manufactured 11 types of occasional tables, and had a revenue of $350,000 in the first year.

In 1976, Wanek and other investors bought Carlyle Weinberger and took control of Ashley Furniture. At first, the two companies maintained separate offices; however, the two companies merged. The Chicago office was then closed. The company quickly grew under Wanek’s direction. Ashley spent $5.5 million in 1979 for an addition in Arcadia, giving it the ability to manufacture more product lines. By 1982, annual sales were $16 million.

Millennium Line

In 1986, Ashley introduced it’s “Millennium” line. Wanek and his designers determined that a new style of furniture would better serve the market. They came up with a unique polyester finishing technique that gave its wood furniture an impeccable luster. The company produced very shiny black furniture in its occasional and bedroom lines, and the line began adding other colors like emerald green. The Millennium line continues to be an integral part of Ashley’s business.

Ashley Furniture HomeStores

Ashley Furniture HomeStores is a chain of furniture stores that exclusively sell Ashley Furniture products. The HomeStores also sell mattresses and accessories. All HomeStores are independently owned and operated. Their affiliation with Ashley Furniture Industries are as licensees through a licensed operating agreement. As of August 22, 2007, there are 330 HomeStores operating worldwide.

Ashley HomeStore’s website contains a list of all the stores around the world.

Current leadership

Ashley Furniture is led by the Wanek father and son team. Ron Wanek passed control over to his son, Todd Wanek, in 2002. However, Ron Wanek continues to play an active role in the company. Shari Wagner, Ron Wanek's daughter, plays an active role in the company as the Vice President of Exports.

*Ronald G. Wanek, Chairman of the Board
*Todd R. Wanek, President and CEO
*Dwain Jansson, CIO

Memorial Park

As part of Ron Wanek's philanthropy, he has designed and built Memorial Park in Arcadia, Wisconsin, with donations from Ashley Furniture. The park is a dedication to the soldiers who have served in wars throughout the history of the United States. The walkway in the park serves as a time line, beginning at the founding of the United States and preceding into the future. A monument is located for each war, at its appropriate place in time.

Facilities

Factories and Distribution Centers

United States

*Arcadia, Wisconsin, Headquarters, Distribution Center, and Factory
*Colton, California, Distribution Center and Factory
*Ecru, Mississippi, Distribution Center and Factory
*Leesport, Pennsylvania, Distribution Center and Factory
*Orlando, Florida, Distribution Center
*Ripley, Mississippi, Factory
*Whitehall, Wisconsin, Factory

Furniture Market Showrooms

United States

*High Point, North Carolina
*Las Vegas, Nevada
*Tupelo, Mississippi

International

*Cologne, Germany
*Shanghai, China

External links

* [http://www.ashleyfurniture.com/ Official Company Website]
* [http://www.ashleyhomestores.com/ Ashley Furniture Homestore Website]


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