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City Furniture opens Ashley store in West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — City Furniture has opened a 35,000-square-foot Ashley Furniture HomeStore here on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard, replacing another temporary location.

The store is the third in a five-store expansion underway by the Top 100 company, which currently operates 10 HomeStores and 14 multi-line City Furniture stores in southeast and southwest Florida.

With the new store, City is moving from a smaller, temporary location and adding 13 sales and support position. The new store is attached to an existing City location with a walk-through for shoppers.

The retailer said it will donate a portion of grand opening sales to Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County.

"With the rebound in housing sales and prices, plus some key changes we've introduced in recent months, our sales are growing at the fastest rate since 2005," City Furniture President Keith Koenig said in a release.

He said the retailer is seeing more first-time home buyers "and people finally able to sell their existing home and move into a larger or smaller one, depending on their stage in life."

City said that its strategic moves this year have helped drive its sales up about 10%. It added e-commerce, which it said is its fasting growing segment, as well as adding Bernhardt galleries to its City Furniture stores.

In addition, the retailer has revamped its mattress line and added sleep specialists to help customers.

In the release, Koenig said he has long been bullish on West Palm Beach and noted the new store's location was one of several the company purchased years ago on the belief that growth would come in its key markets.

He said construction of the nearby Palm Beach Outlets is confirming this and that he expects the revitalized mall will be a major draw.

The new store was built to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The retailer now has four locations built to LEED standards.

A new City Furniture store, the fifth green location, will open in Cutler Bay, Fla., in September.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based City Furniture is No. 31 on Furniture/Today's Top 100 with estimated 2012 furniture, bedding and accessories sales of $231.4 million at 23 combined City and HomeStores, up 0.7% from the year before.

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