Ashley Furniture Industries

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Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc. is an American home furnishings manufacturer and retailer,[2] headquartered in Arcadia, Wisconsin. The company is owned by father and son team Ron and Todd Wanek. Ashley Furniture manufactures and distributes home furniture products throughout the world.[1]

Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.
Company typePrivate
Founded1945; 79 years ago (1945)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
FounderCarlyle Weinberger
HeadquartersArcadia, Wisconsin, U.S.
Key people
Todd R. Wanek (CEO)
Ronald G. Wanek
ProductsUpholstered furniture and casegoods
RevenueIncrease US$10.3 billion[1] (2022)
Number of employees
35,000 (2021)[1]
SubsidiariesAshley HomeStore
Intermodal yard at Ashley Furniture in Arcadia

Ashley Furniture Industries sells home furnishings and accessories available through two distribution channels: independent furniture dealers and more than 700 Ashley Furniture HomeStore retail furniture stores, which are independently owned and operated by licensees in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Central America, Armenia, and Japan.[3] It has manufacturing and distribution facilities in Wisconsin, Mississippi, California (only manufacturing closed in 2016 distribution facility remains), Indiana, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, China, and Vietnam.

History edit

Carlyle Weinberger founded Ashley Furniture in Chicago in 1945 as a sales operation. Specializing in wooden occasional furniture, Ashley marketed goods made by local companies. Later the company opened a branch in Goshen, Indiana. In 1970, Ashley invested in the Wisconsin-based Arcadia Furniture, founded by Thomas Brosseau. Even though Arcadia started out as a small production plant for Ashley's lines in 1976, a group of investors bought out Weinberger, taking control of Ashley Furniture. At first the two companies maintained their separate identities, with Arcadia focusing on production and Ashley on sales.

By 1982, the merged company's annual sales reached $12 million and it had moved its corporate headquarters from Chicago to Arcadia. By the mid-1980s, Ashley offered a line of roughly 350 different furniture products, and had turned its design and manufacturing away from "heirloom pieces" toward products aimed at middle-income buyers. The company's growing network included wholesalers such as Levitz Furniture and mass-retailers such as Sears, Kmart, and Montgomery Ward, in addition to smaller retailers. Sales had climbed to more than $44 million by 1985.

In 1994 Ashley acquired upholstery manufacturer Sklar-Peppler, and by the late 1990s the company was operating assembly and distribution plants in Seattle, Washington; Pomona, California; New Brunswick, New Jersey; and Orlando, Florida. Gambling that motion furniture was a strong growth area, Ashley acquired Gentry Furniture, of Ripley, Mississippi in 1999. That same year the company also branched out into retailing, licensing Ashley Furniture HomeStores to independent dealers. The chain grew in its first year to approximately 40 stores.[citation needed]

By 2000, Ashley Furniture Industries employed more people in Arcadia than the town's population. The plant in Arcadia had grown from 35,000 square feet (3,300 m2) in 1970 to 1,500,000 square feet (140,000 m2). In 2015, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration imposed $1.7 million in fines on Ashley due to unsafe working conditions at its Arcadia plant which caused over one thousand injuries to workers.[4]

In 2015, OSHA cited the company for numerous violations with Ashley Furniture facing $1.7 million in penalties.[5] Tom Perez, the United States Secretary of Labor at the time, said "Regrettably, Ashley Furniture has become a frequent flier for OSHA. We have been inspecting this plant a number of times. We have found violations previously. They have been fined; we have come back. The fundamental challenge is they need to build a better culture of safety, and that hasn’t happened"[5] In 2016, OSHA announced that Ashley Furniture had agreed to correct all violations and pay penalties of $1.75 million.[6]

Today the company maintains plants across the United States and also operates several factories (including its largest) in Pacific Rim countries such as Vietnam and China. They also have sourcing offices in India, Vietnam, Southern China, Muar, and Taiwan.[7]

In 2023 the Canadian government and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a joint recall of over 260,000 units because of a fire hazard.[8][9]

Gallery edit

Ashley Furniture in Arcadia intermodal yard.

Retail presence edit

Ashley HomeStore in Onalaska, Wisconsin

The Ashley HomeStore chain of furniture stores is composed of corporate owned stores and independently owned stores with licenses to sell Ashley Furniture products exclusively, including mattresses and accessories. There are over 1000 Ashley Furniture HomeStore retail furniture stores operating worldwide in more than 123 countries. [10][3] Ashley Furniture HomeStore is a retail brand which sells home furniture and accessories. Ashley Furniture HomeStore CEO is Todd Wanek, who replaced CEO Mark Dufresne in 2017.[3]

Philanthropy edit

Ron Wanek designed and built Memorial Park in Arcadia, Wisconsin, with donations from Ashley Furniture.[11] The park is dedicated 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 proceeding into the future. A monument is located for each[citation needed] war at its place in time.

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "Ashley Furniture Industries". Forbes. Retrieved September 19, 2019.
  2. ^ Craver, Richard (June 3, 2015). "Firms have sights on Ashley Furniture". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Dufresne leaves Ashley Global". Furniture Today. January 18, 2017. Archived from the original on January 20, 2017. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  4. ^ Abrams, Rachel (February 2, 2015). "OSHA Cites Ashley Furniture Over Dozens of Safety Violations". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Abrams, Rachel (February 2, 2015). "OSHA Cites Ashley Furniture Over Dozens of Safety Violations". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 26, 2015. Retrieved October 10, 2023.
  6. ^ "US Labor Department, Ashley Furniture reach comprehensive settlement: Company to abate all hazards, implement safeguards to prevent future injuries". Occupational Safety and Health Administration. June 8, 2016. Retrieved October 10, 2023.
  7. ^ "Ashley HomeStores, Ltd.: Private Company Information". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Archived from the original on October 5, 2012. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  8. ^ "Ashley Furniture Industries Recalls Party Time Power Loveseats, Sofas and Recliners Due to Fire Hazard". U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Retrieved October 11, 2023.
  9. ^ "Signature Design by Ashley Furniture Industries, LLC Party Time Power Loveseats, Sofas and Recliners recalled due to fire hazard". Health Canada.
  10. ^ "Ashley Furniture HomeStore Opens New Store in Kallang, Singapore Furniture Today". Furniture Today. April 4, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  11. ^ "About Ronald G. Wanek". SOLDIERS WALK - A MEMORIAL PARK DEDICATED TO OUR VETERANS - PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE. Retrieved October 6, 2023.

External links edit