HIGH POINT, NC -- Ashley Furniture made news in the run up to the 2015 High Point Market (it opens Oct. 17) with the announcement that it is adding 450 new jobs at its Davie County, North Carolina manufacturing plant over the next five years. Ashley officials said during a press conference at its 135,000-square-foot showroom on the 9th floor of the International Home Furnishings Center, that it will invest approximately $8.7 million at that location through 2019.
Ashley's latest investment news comes on the heels of the furniture company's 2012 expansion plans, which included a commitment of creating 550 jobs and investing $80 million between 2012 and 2015. According to the company, it exceeded those goals with the creation of 1,100 jobs and an investment of more than $250 million for a state-of-the-art furniture manufacturing and distribution facility and related training and development activities at its Advance, NC, facilities.
Ashley Furniture's latest expansion announcement, which was accompanied by an addition 2 million square feet of factory and warehouse expansion at other locations, turns the privately held residential furnishing firm's strategy 180 degrees from its efforts earlier this year to find a buyer.
An award from the state’s Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program to Ashley will help facilitate its further expansion. The reimbursements may total as much as $4.6 million from 2016 through 2027. Receipt of the award is based on verification by NC Commerce and NC Revenue that the company has met job creation and capital investment requirements. JDIGs reimburse new and expanding companies a portion of the newly created tax-base stemming from the operations with the goal of increasing the overall tax benefit to the State of North Carolina.
Ashley Furniture has been cited by OSHA for two wilful violations after a 56-year-old employee had his right ring finger amputated following a March 11 incident. This is the second incident of its kind since January, making it a willful violation. The residential furniture maker faces fines of $83,200 in the July 21 citations.
Ashley also announced it is adding more than 2,000,000 square feet of manufacturing and distribution space to its U.S. facilities over the next 18 months:
- California - 1 million square feet
- Texas - 450,000 square feet (Ashley’s first expansion into this market)
- Mississippi - 175,000 square feet
- Wisconsin - 150,000 square feet plus Chapel Hill Advanced Technology Center
- North Carolina - possibly an additional 500,000 square feet for an expansion in 2016
Arcadia, WI-based Ashley is one of the world’s largest residential furniture company, employing more than 25,000 people globally.
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