Todd Wanek and Charlie Malouf (center) cut the ribbon at the new Augusta, Ga., store.
FORT MILL, S.C. — Broad River Retail, one of the larger independently owned licensees of Ashley HomeStores, opened three more stores in early September.
The Fort Mill, S.C.-based Top 100 retailer, which owns and operates stores in the Carolinas and Georgia, added to it store count with openings in Asheville, N.C.; Augusta, Ga.; and Albemarle, N.C., on consecutive days on the eve of Labor Day Weekend.
“It’s the first time in our company’s history that we’ve opened three stores back-to-back-to-back,” said Charlie Malouf, president and CEO of Broad River Retail. “The energy at our stores and the support from the local communities was just incredible to see.”
The first of three grand opening celebrations was in Asheville on Sept. 1. The new Ashley HomeStore is located in the former Kitchen & Company building at the River Hills shopping center. The 25,000-square-foot store is a next-generation 6.0 Ashley HomeStore with a contemporary design.
The second grand opening was on Sept. 2 in Augusta. The company relocated to a larger store just off Interstate 520 and directly across from Augusta Regional Mall, only two miles away from its previous location. It boasts a 47,700-square-foot dual-concept store with separate entrances for the Ashley HomeStore and the Outlet. This move significantly upgrades Ashley’s presence in the market.
The third stop of the grand opening tour was on Sept. 3 in Albemarle, about 40 miles east of Charlotte, near the Uwharrie National Forest. The 23,500-square-foot store is located just off NC Hwy 24/27 in a former OfficeMax building.
“Every showroom features complete lifestyle vignettes, with a selection of lighting, rugs and wall art customized for each store to complete the final details,” said Janet Leimkuhler, associate director of visual impact. “Our team was diligent and intentional in every piece they selected, resulting in three beautiful showrooms unique to each community it serves.”
Each store includes a Sleep Shop designed specifically to focus on customized, holistic sleep solutions and provide customers with a safe, clean mattress-buying experience. The new Augusta store includes the company’s largest gallery, with more than 39 mattress models on display.
“We are so excited to open these new locations,” said Malouf. “And we know that this all would not be possible without the steadfast support of our corporate partners at Ashley Furniture Inds. We’re extremely appreciative that Todd Wanek (president and CEO of Ashley) and his team were able to experience these grand openings in person. They’ve been a great partner from the beginning, and it only seemed fitting they were able to enjoy the celebrations with us.”
In keeping with Broad River Retail’s dedication to the communities it serves, a portion of all mattress sales from each store is donated to Ashley HomeStore’s Hope to Dream program. Hope to Dream was founded in 2010 on the guiding principle that every child deserves a good night’s sleep. Since its inception, more than 110,000 children have received a brand-new bed.
Homeward Bound (Asheville), ReStart Augusta (Augusta) and Beds for Kids (Albemarle) were identified as local recipients to receive a charitable donation from the new Ashley HomeStores as a tribute to their service in the local community as part of the Hope to the Dream.
“We are committed and focused on sowing seeds each day,” said Manny Rodrigues, chief operating officer. “With the support of all our Memory Makers, we choose to focus on that discipline and know that the harvest will come. These grand openings are beautiful reminders of the work required each day to continue to fulfill our purpose of Furnishing Life’s Best Memories.”