About Us

Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc. is an American home furnishings manufacturer and retailer, 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.

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, Central America, and Japan. 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

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 T. 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 SearsKmart, 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, WashingtonPomona, CaliforniaNew 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.

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.[5] Ron Wanek is currently chairman of the board and Todd Wanek is currently President and CEO.