A Sioux Falls, S.D., furniture retailer will be opening a 55,000-square-foot Ashley Furniture HomeStore this summer in the former Target store across from Westdale Mall in southwest Cedar Rapids.
Lindsey Moulton, executive and project assistant at Furniture Mart USA, said Olmstead Construction of Cedar Rapids is remodeling the exterior of the building at 3750 Williams Blvd. SW. Moulton said Ashley Sleep, a bedding store, will open in space next to the furniture store.
"We are finalizing the interior design of our store to match the quality of the merchandise we will have in our Ashley Furniture HomeStore," Moulton said. "We're going to have a 20,000-square-foot warehouse in the back of the building to serve as a distribution center for Iowa until we really establish ourselves with a few stores in operation.
"Eventually, we will be looking for a much larger property in Cedar Rapids to establish a distribution center."
Moulton said customers will find popular Ashley Furniture HomeStore items available for immediate purchase as well as furniture featured in weekly advertisements.
"Obviously we will not be able to stock everything that we sell, but we will carry our bestsellers," Moulton said.
Furniture Outlets USA, founded in 1976 by William Hinks, operates 36 stores in Iowa, Minnesota, and North and South Dakota. The family-owned business operates Ashley Furniture HomeStores, Furniture Mart, Unclaimed Freight Furniture, Furnish 123, and Carpet One.
"We will employ between 20 and 30 at the Cedar Rapids store, including full- and part-time associates," Moulton said. "We are planning eight new stores in Iowa within the next three years. We are hoping to open a store in Davenport in the fall of 2014.
"We also are looking at other communities like Coralville and Iowa City for future locations."
Ashley Furniture Industries, founded in 1945, is the largest manufacturer and retailer of furniture in the world with more than 500 locations. Moulton said Furniture Outlets USA is expanding with the family-owned Arcadia, Wis., company."Our growth has really been in the last 10 years with Ashley," she said. "We like to think that we know what we're doing and we're going to be a great addition to the community."