TAMPA, FL - Ashley Furniture, which said Monday it is ending exploration of a sale of its business, continues with its expansion into e-commerce. A new Tampa, FL campus for its Ashcomm LLC online subsidiary is expected to house more than 100 employees by the end of the year.
Woodworking Network reported June 2 that Ashley Furniture had retained Goldman Sachs in an evaluation of a variety of investment alternatives and other opportunities to enhance future growth. Company CEO Todd Wanek said the conversations were very exploratory and that no decisions had been made to pursue any specific course of action.
“Ashley Furniture is a great American success story and regularly attracts outside interest from others who want to support and participate in our future success,” Wanek said. “All future decisions will be based on what is best for our employees and their families, our company, and the communities we serve.” In the case of the sale of equity or ownership, Wanek said Monday that avenue was ended. Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc. is the largest furniture manufacturer in the world. Established in 1945, Ashley sells in 123 countries.
"While Ashley, like all U.S. manufacturers, must address a challenging environment, it has the benefits of stable ownership, passionate employees, loyal customers, exciting products, and lots and lots of opportunity for continued growth."
Ashley's e-commerce efforts are driven by wholly owned subsidiary, Ashcomm LLC, headquartered in Ybor City, Florida. The headquarters office will occupy 70,000 square feet, employing 100 for executive, administrative, marketing, design, and information technology positions for both the e-commerce business as well as other Ashley corporate operations. Ashley employs 20,000 overall.
"This is a time of strong growth for Ashley Furniture,” Wanek said in announcing the e-commerce expansion. “We found everything we were looking for here: a rich supply of local e-commerce professionals, the perfect building to house our e-commerce headquarters as well as other retail operations, and the opportunity to contribute to the revitalization of Ybor City.”
Local official in Ybor City say Ashley’s new e-commerce headquarters facility is expected to spur growth and renewal in the historic district in which it is to be located, and will likely become a hub for thousands of annual visitors, including employees, retailers, vendors and customers from all over the world. Its Ybor City location is ideal for attracting top design and technology talent to serve the growing e-commerce retail market.
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