Ashley Furniture to Open U.S. E-Commerce Headquarters in Tampa
May 21, 2015
Tampa, Fla. – May 21, 2015 – Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc. (“Ashley”), the world’s largest furniture manufacturer and the #1 selling brand of furniture in North America, announced today that it is establishing, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Ashcomm LLC, its U.S. e-commerce headquarters in Ybor City. The headquarters office will occupy 70,000 square feet of space in Centro Ybor in the heart of Tampa’s historic business and entertainment district. It will eventually house more than 100 employees in executive, administrative, marketing, design, and information technology positions for both the e-commerce business as well as other Ashley corporate operations.
Ashley Furniture Industries CEO Todd Wanek made the announcement today at Centro Ybor.
“This is a time of strong growth for Ashley Furniture and we’re proud to partner with the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County, and the Ybor City business community to build our future in this exciting and historic location,” Mr. Wanek said. “We found everything we were looking for here: a rich supply of local e-commerce professionals, the perfect building to house our e-commerce headquarters as well as other retail operations, and the opportunity to contribute to the revitalization of Ybor City.”
Ashley’s new e-commerce headquarters facility is expected to spur growth and renewal in the historic district and become a hub for thousands of annual visitors, including employees, retailers, vendors and customers from all over the world. The Ybor City location is ideal for attracting top design and technology talent to serve the growing e-commerce retail market.
With Ashcomm’s extensive e-commerce and logistics platforms, Ashley is positioned to expand its internet sales of Ashley Furniture and accessories. Ashley and Ashcomm’s commitments to utilizing the benefits of the e-commerce sale of furniture are the result of more than five years of planning and market studies. Furniture e-commerce opportunities will enhance the shopping experience of Ashley’s customers while supplementing Ashley Furniture HomeStores and the independent retail furniture stores served by Ashley. E-commerce furniture sales will also provide additional support and growth opportunities for Ashley’s manufacturing facilities.
The project has been supported by Enterprise Florida, Hillsborough County, City of Tampa and the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation.
“The competition among the six states vying for Ashcomm’s new headquarters was fierce,” said the Hon. Sandra Murman, Chair of the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners. “Their decision to locate in Hillsborough County proves once again that this community offers a business climate, diversity of talent and quality of life that other major markets can’t top. We are thankful to Ashley for the jobs and investment they’ve already made in Brandon, and look forward to Ashcomm’s and Ashley’s efforts in Ybor City.”
“Ashley’s and Ashcomm’s move to Ybor City confirms two things we know – and the rest of the world is learning – about Tampa,” said Mayor Bob Buckhorn, City of Tampa. “First, we have the skilled workforce corporate operations need to fuel their growth. Second, we offer unbeatable live/work/play options in vibrant urban districts like Ybor City that help make companies even more attractive to key hires they want to bring here from other parts of the country.”
Ashley’s arrival represents the culmination of efforts by Todd Wanek of Ashley, local officials, and developers to convert this Centro Ybor location into a well-rounded mixed use development with the addition of a variety of tenants: C.H. Robinson, Chappell Roberts, Florida Business Interiors, Tampa Bay Brewing Company, Carne Chophouse and The Brass Tap. The Muvico Theater will continue operations with 10 screens instead of 20.
The design of Ashcomm’s headquarters is “retro-contemporary” and incorporates many of historic Ybor’s herringbone and parquet wood flooring patterns, hexagon tiles, and tin ceilings. The lighting is a combination of new and manufacturing style fixtures – to connect with Ashley’s furniture manufacturing roots. Accents of vibrant colors will be used in the facility to create energy. A visitor center will also be incorporated into the facility to explain Ashley’s history and present day scope of operations and services to new employees and distinguished guests.
The adaptive re-use project is expected to be completed by year-end and will involve approximately 30 direct subcontractors and 100 suppliers. The Perry Company, Ai Collaborative and Fabricated Products (the structural steel supplier) – all of which are located in Ybor City – are playing major roles in the project. In total, approximately 300 people will be directly involved in the project.
Eric Grzybowski, Partner and Project Manager of The Perry Company, said “Being born and raised and with a family that goes back generations in Tampa, Ybor City holds a special place in my heart. It is a great opportunity to be part of this project. It will have such a positive impact on the community for many years to come.”
Ashcomm joins a growing list of diverse companies that have chosen Tampa and Hillsborough County for their corporate headquarters, including Inspirata, Xcelience, ReliaQuest, FitLife Foods, BluePearl Veterinary Partners, Tribridge and Laser Spine Institute.
“As Ashley and Ashcomm discovered, Tampa is the perfect place for e-commerce companies to establish their headquarters and find people with highly sought after skills, including Hadoop and .NET developers, computer network architects, and information security and data warehousing experts,” said Dr. Ronald Vaughn, Chair of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation and President of the University of Tampa. “Tampa boasts the largest e-commerce location quotient in Florida and is ranked second in the state for e-commerce related occupations. Our local universities have launched dozens of specialized programs in response to the need for more professionals with e-commerce and big data skills. With 18% growth in e-commerce jobs projected by 2022, this community is ensuring that the pipeline of talent will be ready to meet the sector’s increasing workforce demands.”
Individuals interested in employment opportunities with Ashley Furniture are encouraged to apply at http://www.ashleyfurniture.com/jobportal/index.aspx.
Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation is the lead economic development agency for Hillsborough County and the cities of Tampa, Plant City, and Temple Terrace. Established in 2009 as a partnership between the public sector and private corporate investors, the EDC works to develop and sustain a thriving local economy through the attraction, retention and expansion of high wage jobs and capital investment within targeted industry sectors.
The EDC exists because of the generous support of nearly 100 corporations, the Board of County Commissioners of Hillsborough County, and the cities of Tampa, Plant City and Temple Terrace. To learn more, visit tampabayedc.com.
Hillsborough County, Florida is the commercial and industrial heart of Tampa Bay. The fourth largest county in the state of Florida, Hillsborough is home to nearly 1.3 million residents, with thousands more arriving each year. Its strength is drawn from being one of the most advanced economies and having one of the most educated workforces in the state. Hillsborough County and its three municipalities –Tampa, Plant City, and Temple Terrace — offer a competitive business environment and an abundance of regional assets including Port Tampa Bay, Tampa International Airport, and MacDill Air Force Base. County government is focused on creating economic prosperity for residents and businesses throughout the area. To learn more, visit hillsboroughcounty.org.
Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc. (Ashley) is the largest furniture manufacturer in the world. Established in 1945, Ashley offers one of the industry’s broadest product assortments to retail partners in 123 countries. From design through fulfillment, Ashley continuously strives to provide the best values, selection and service in the furniture industry. For more information on Ashley and its products, visit www.ashleyfurniture.com or www.ashley.com.cn.
Ashley Furniture HomeStore feels that every person deserves more value for their money. The retailer’s steadfast commitment to style, price, quality and service has garnered the loyalty and trust of customers across the globe. Today, Ashley Furniture HomeStore is the #1 selling furniture store brand in the world with over 560 locations. It offers furniture from Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc. (Ashley), the largest furniture manufacturer in the world. Ashley Furniture HomeStore has received the Women’s Choice Award by WomenCertified® every year since its inception. For more information on Ashley Furniture HomeStore and our products, visit our website at www.ashleyfurniture.com. “Like” Ashley Furniture HomeStore on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or see our design-focused boards on Pinterest.