Not to be confused with Laura Ashley, this Ashley is more interested in peddling leather and wood than toile and chenille. Ashley Furniture Industries, doing business as The Ashley Companies, is one of the nation's largest furniture manufacturers. It makes and imports upholstered furniture, as well as leather and hardwood pieces. The furniture maker licenses its name to some 400 Ashley Furniture HomeStores located in the US, as well as Canada, Mexico, and Japan. These stores are independently owned and sell only Ashley Furniture-branded products. Founded by Carlyle Weinberger in 1945, Ashley Furniture is owned by father-and-son duo Ron and Todd Wanek.
The company boasts three operating divisions: Ashley Casegoods, Ashley Upholstery, and Millennium. A portion of the company's furniture is manufactured in Asia. Overall, Ashley maintains 3 million sq. ft. of manufacturing facilities at half a dozen locations.
The company sells furniture through its own brands, such as Carlyle, Cross Island, Emory, Hamlyn, Kenwood Loft, Key Town, Martini Suite, and Wisteria.
As part of its global expansion, in 2012 Ashley Furniture opened its first Ashley Furniture HomeStore, a 35,000-sq.-ft. showroom, in Shanghai, China. The company plans to open 1,000 stores in China in the next 10 years. Also in 2012, the company opened an Ashley Furniture HomeStore, which is 40,000-sq.-ft., in the center of Amman, Jordan. The showroom is one of four stores that will open in the next three years. – less