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Ashley Furniture Home Stores Expanding with New Headquarters

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The sluggish housing market isn’t slowing furniture sales for St. Louis retailer Ashley Furniture Home Store, Missouri’s largest distributor for the nation’s biggest home furniture maker. Ashley announced that it is more than doubling the size of its distribution center and moving its headquarters to the facility when it is completed this winter. ARCO Construction Co. is building the $7.6 million office and distribution center at Green Park Commerce Center in South St. Louis County. When completed, Ashley plans to add up to 30 new employees, boosting its local workforce to more than 300 people. “Even with the housing crisis, our business has tripled in the past three years. We need more efficient space to store our inventory,” said Steve Phillips, Ashley chief executive officer. “While people have been putting off decisions to buy a new home, many have opted to upgrade their existing homes. That has allowed us to capitalize on our three staples – our price, product and people.” As Missouri’s largest retailer of the items produced by Arcadia, Wis.-based Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc., the nation’s largest home furniture maker, Phillips operates six stores in the region – in Kirkwood, South County, O’Fallon and Columbia, Mo. and Edwardsville and Shiloh, Ill. Local distribution operations are currently based in a 42,000-square-foot office/distribution center at 310 South Fillmore Rd. in Kirkwood, Mo. The firm is also leasing overflow space in Earth City. It will consolidate all operations in the 118,800-square-foor building being built by ARCO at Green Park. “We brought ARCO in early for the planning process because we really needed a facility to improve storage and flow of product,” said Phillips. “They tailored the building to our specific needs and brought in new technology ideas to optimize building operations.” ARCO also built Ashley’s current Kirkwood facility and its store in O’Fallon, Mo. Emerging from a 5.5-acre site, the single-story, steel-framed building is being built using beige tilt-up concrete panels and will feature a 100,800- square-foot warehouse zone for rack storage of furniture, including a refinishing shop, and 18,000 square feet of office space. The warehouse will have 38-foot clear-height ceilings, 19 docks doors, a state-of-the-art covered customer pick up zone, energy efficient lights and an in-rack sprinkler system. Ashley, which recycles two-and-one-half tons of cardboard daily, enhanced the building with green design elements including motion-detector lighting to automatically activate and deactivate lights to save energy costs. Parking is provided for 118 vehicles.

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