By Dan McDonald
For Hometown News
BREVARD -- Mega furniture chain Ashley HomeStores, which operates 468 outlets either through corporate ownership or licensee agreements around the world and in every state, is about to take another plunge into the Brevard market, with an April 26 grand opening at a 50,000-square-foot showroom at 4360 W. New Haven Ave.
The store will operate as a corporate-run outlet, replacing a licensed Ashley store that occupied the same location before closing its doors in August 2011. Bob Walker, vice president of Ashley Furniture Stores declined to speculate why the former licensee ran into difficulty, but expressed optimism that the new venture will succeed.
"We believe Brevard is a dynamic place, and we're looking forward to having the opportunity to reinstate our brand into a very good market," Mr. Walker said from the company's global headquarters in Brandon. "We are the world's largest furniture manufacturer, and we have a national and international footprint.
"We believe our business model will work very well in Brevard," Mr. Walker added. "We do everything from manufacturing, to the showroom to delivery, and do it seamlessly, and we have the resources to back up our operation. I think people will respond very well to our quality and workmanship and service. We're looking forward to the opportunity to serve the Space Coast."
Several local dignitaries and business representatives have been invited for the 10 a.m. grand opening, including Brevard County Commissioners, Melbourne public officials and members of the local Chamber of Commerce. The store will be represented by Ashley HomeStore president and head of the firm's global retail operation, John Disa.
Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the first 50 guests will receive a $100 gift card give-away, and everyone will receive refreshments and goodie bags (while they last) that contain specials and coupons from Ashley and offers from other area businesses.
Additionally, other special grand opening offers include:
A chance to register to win a $5000 in-store furniture shopping spree
An In-Store Friends & Family special that includes $100 off a purchase of $200 or more.
A special finance offer of 48-months no interest, with no money down and no minimum purchase.
Room-packages, starting as low as $11 per month, with approved credit, based on 48-months equal payments.
For those guests and customers who come by the store, they'll get to wander through several furniture styles and selection options that Ashley describes as follows:
Vintage Casual - This collection blends the beloved looks of European country, coastal, beach-house and American farmhouse styles, re-creating the old, well-used, rustic and comfortable looks of the past.
Metro Modern - This collection features a sleek, streamlined, contemporary style, with an emphasis on storage and function.
Ashley Kids - Durable, stylish, quality pieces that let you create the ultimate space for your kids. These are furniture sets that grow with your family.
Ashley Accessories Boutique - This will be the largest selection of trendy and colorful accessories that Ashley has ever offered before. Everything from wall art, lamps, mirrors, clocks, candle holders, Woodwick Candles, flameless candles, throw pillows, vases, rugs, baskets, floral décor, top of bed and much, much more.
Zzz's by Ashley - Billed as the 'mattress shopping experience you have always dreamt of.' It's not just a mattress store, it's a mattress experience. Using the Tablets of Tranquility, we put the information you need to make informed sleep decisions in the palm of your hand. Using tablet technology, we will match you with the perfect mattress for your body type and sleep style.
"We're very excited about coming into Melbourne, as a corporate store, and we're making a commitment to the community as a vital partner," said Marlene Squires-Swanson, Director of Enterprise Advertising & Marketing for Ashley HomeStores, LTD.
"Part of that process is to include a local delivery made under our charity called 'A Hope To Dream,' which was established three years ago. In the short time of operation, A Hope To Dream has provided more than 5,600 beds to children in need in Florida alone."
Working with individuals from Riviera Elementary School in Palm Bay and the South Brevard Sharing Center, Ashley representatives were able to develop a list of children in need of adequate beds and comforter sets, a gift that runs approximately $600 each.
"We delivered 40 beds and comforter sets to various families throughout the county," Ruthie Bautista, corporate leader of A Hope To Dream said. "It's a great program. One of the families involved received five different beds and comforter sets. Now, five children will have their own beds, instead of sharing a single mattress.
"When you see the faces of the children - many of whom are getting their first bed - it's very rewarding. We get a lot of thank-you notes, and the sentiments are so touching it makes everything worth it. To see the smiles and hear the thanks. It's a great program and I'm proud to be part of the Ashley charity."
For more information about the opening or any other Ashley store or product, you can visit the company's website: www.ashleyfurniturehomestore.com.