• Clint Engel

City Furniture opens 10th Ashley store, adds e-commerce

 City Furniture has opened its 10th Ashley Furniture HomeStore, in the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., area, to take advantage of a recovering market in Florida.City Furniture has opened its 10th Ashley Furniture HomeStore, in the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., area, to take advantage of a recovering market in Florida.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — City Furniture has opened a 25,000-square foot Ashley Furniture HomeStore here, its 10th HomeStore and the retailer's third showroom designed to meet tough green standards, as it continues an aggressive expansion push.

In a release, the retailer also said it has launched e-commerce on its website.

The new HomeStore in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Oakland Park is along a furniture row at North Federal Highway. It will create about 30 jobs and takes a space that has vacant since the former Modernage closed there in 2007. City demolished the former building and started fresh.

"South Florida is statistically the nation's most competitive furniture retail market, with the most brands vying for market share," City President Keith Koenig said. "As housing dipped and competition increased, Modernage ceased operations. We purchased the site and waited until the timing was right."

The opening is part of a long-term growth strategy and coincides with an uptick in South Florida home sales and furniture demand, Koenig said.

The Top 100 company also has plans for a HomeStore in West Palm Beach, Fla., that will replace a smaller store this summer, and a new City Furniture multi-line store in Cutler Bay, Fla., that Koenig has said is slated for July. That will replace an existing store in the market that will be renovated and converted to another HomeStore.

"We decided several years ago to get ahead of the curve, tying up high-value locations for future expansion," he said in a release.

"That approach is beginning to bear fruit," Koenig added. "More homeowners are coming in to furnish both year-round and vacation homes. Also, through our professional design services, we're doing more model home business than ever with homebuilders on Florida's east and west coasts, and are customizing furniture packages in wide-ranging styles for new, high-profile apartment towers."

The company also said it is "taking creative approaches to build statewide sales beyond ‘bricks and mortar,'" with the recent launch of online shopping. It also has begun providing quick deliveries in the Orlando and Tampa, Fla., areas.

"So many of our customers told us they were relocating to other parts of Florida and wanted to keep shopping with us," Koenig said. "It's time to extend our reach."

The new HomeStore was designed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, the company said. It's City's third location (and the first Home-store in the more than 450-store network) built to the stringent standards, the company said.

The HomeStores planned for West Palm and Cutler Bay also will be "green," Koenig said.

Clint EngelClint Engel | Senior Retail Editor, Furniture Today

Please feel free to email or call me with all of your retail news and tips, including expansion news, successful merchandising and marketing strategies and anything else you would like to see covered by Furniture/Today.  Contact me directly at cengel@furnituretoday.com or 336-605-1129.

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