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Mathis plans Ashley stores

Bill MathisBill Mathis, left, and Larry Mathis, right, with Ashley Furniture’s Todd Wanek. Mathis Bros. Furniture plans to open seven Ashley Furniture HomeStores in Oklahoma, the first in the state.
OKLAHOMA CITY - The owners of Top 100 company Mathis Bros. Furniture say they plan to open seven Ashley Furniture Home-Stores in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla., metro areas.
     Owners Bill and Larry Mathis will open their first 30,000-square-foot HomeStore - the first Ashley store in Oklahoma - in February in Owasso, in Smith Farm Marketplace. The leased former Linens 'n Things location is in the northern Tulsa area.
     Three others will open later next year in Norman, Tulsa Hills and Oklahoma City, said Calvin Worth, Mathis Bros. general manager, adding that the first four properties are under contract - two leases and two that will be built from the ground up.
     He did not give a timeline for three additional future stores, for which Mathis has yet to secure real estate, but said they'll likely open in 2014 or 2015 - hopefully 2014.
     The HomeStore showrooms each will be about 30,000 to 40,000 square feet.
     Larry Mathis said in a press release that Mathis Bros. believes the HomeStore concept "provides an attractive business proposition that will generate additional opportunities for our company to provide complete home furnishings solutions to new customers."
     He added, "It is our commitment to provide our customers a one-stop destination for the largest selection of quality home furnishings at the lowest prices every day, and to strive to enrich, fulfill and reward our employees and the communities we live in."
     Family-owned Mathis Bros. is No. 21 on Furniture/Today's Top 100 with estimated furniture, bedding and accessories sales last year of $344.7 million, up 7.5% from 2010. This year's total sales will exceed $400 million, the company said.
     The retailer operates eight stores in Oklahoma and California offering products ranging from promotional to high-end, under the Mathis Bros., Factory Direct Furniture & Beds, Rooms Today and Mathis Village names.
     With the addition of HomeStores, Mathis will be joining several other multi line Top 100 companies that also operate the dedicated Ashley stores, including City Furniture, Furniture Mart USA, Regency Furniture, Crest Furniture, Morris Furniture and Knoxville Wholesale Furniture.
     Ashley is already Mathis Bros.' largest supplier, Worth said.
     The HomeStores network, now with more than 450 locations, is No. 1 on Furniture/Today's Top 100 with estimated U.S. furniture, bedding and accessories sales last year of $2.69 billion at 434 stores.
     All seven of the planned Ashley Furniture HomeStores in Oklahoma will feature bedroom, dining room, upholstery, motion upholstery, leather, occasional tables, entertainment centers, home office, youth bedroom, recliners, mattresses, lamps and accessories.
     The youth department will include a Fun Zone where children can play with toys, coloring books and video games as well as try out desks, bunk beds and other furniture.

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