Ashley Furniture HomeStore celebrated the opening of its new store on Wesel Boulevard in Hagerstown Saturday with a ribbon cutting and a $25,000 furniture giveaway.
The new store opened in December 2011, store owner Abdul Ayyad said, and will replace the former Ashley location at Longmeadow Shopping Center.
Ayyad said he has one more year on his lease for the Longmeadow store. He plans to operate the building as a clearance outlet until the lease expires, he said.
Ashley Furniture Industries Inc. is headquartered in Arcadia, Wis., and manufactures and distributes home furniture products throughout the world. The company sells home furnishings and accessories through independent furniture dealers and more than 400 Ashley Furniture HomeStores.
The new Ashley location is a former Lowe’s building. Ayyad purchased the property and completed upgrades including updated gas and electric and a new facade. National retail department store chain Big Lots moved into one side of the building, while Ashley occupies the other.
“The other store at Longmeadow was smaller and older and didn’t fit our footprint, which is usually 40- to 45,000 feet,” Ayyad said. “This is a better place to display our products. The upscale look and layout gives a better idea of who we are.”
Advertising director Irv Kline said he believes the new store’s proximity to interstates 70 and 81 will draw shoppers from West Virginia and Pennsylvania as well as Hagerstown.
“We can serve the community and surrounding area better this way,” he said.
Shoppers browsed the store during the afternoon and filled out slips of paper in hopes of winning one of the furniture giveaway prizes.
A band played as a talking robot and a clown greeted shoppers at the door. Inside, costumed characters provided children’s activities and interacted with customers.
Karen Myers of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., said she and her family “made a point” of attending the grand opening.
“It’s a pretty store,” she said.
City Councilman William Breichner thanked the company for doing business in the city. He said the building renovation was “well done” and that the store has “a lot to see.”
“I’m thankful that they have stayed within the corporate limits of Hagerstown,” Breichner said. “That is a part of our tax base and we always appreciate that.”