Mathis Brothers to bring Ashley Furniture stores to Tulsa area
BY KYLE ARNOLD World Staff Writer
Thursday, November 08, 2012
11/08/12 at 2:35 AM
Ashley Furniture HomeStores will open in Owasso and Tulsa as part of a plan by superstore retailer Mathis Brothers to bring seven stores to Oklahoma.
Mathis Brothers Furniture will open one store by the end of February at Smith Farm Shopping Center in Owasso at the former location of Linens and Things, the defunct housewares retailer.
Mathis Brothers is hoping to start construction soon on another Ashley location at Tulsa Hills shopping center in a space just south of Sam's Club.
Oklahoma City-based Mathis Brothers signed a deal with Ashley Furniture, the nation's largest manufacturer and seller of furniture, last month in an attempt to expand the Mathis Brothers footprint with smaller branded stores in Oklahoma's metro areas.
The company is also planning for stores to go in just north of Norman and in Moore, along with three more at locations to be determined at a later date.
"Ashley is the biggest furniture supplier in the world, and they don't have a store presence in Oklahoma right now," said Calvin Worth, vice president and general manager of Mathis Bros. "We already carry a lot of their furniture in our stores, but we can now reach out to customers in Jenks, Glenpool and Owasso that don't want to drive all the way here" to southeast Tulsa.
Mathis Brothers will operate as a licensee for the branded Ashley stores, said Chelsea Hanson, a spokeswoman for Arcadia, Wis.-based Ashley Furniture Industries Inc.
Mathis Brothers operates a 200,000-square-foot store at 66th Street and U.S. 169, the biggest furniture store in the area. The company also has mega-showrooms in Oklahoma City and Indio, Calif., along with a handful of smaller brands including Rooms Today in Tulsa.
In contrast, the new Ashley stores will be about 30,000 to 37,000 square feet each, offering only Ashley-branded furniture, mattresses and home accessories.
Brad Woessner, manager of Mathis Brothers in Tulsa, said Ashley typically sells midrange furniture, ranging from about $300 to $1,000 for a standard sofa.
"It really appeals to younger people and families," he said. "There's a pretty big range from traditional to modern styles, but it really appeals to people on price."
Woessner said the Mathis Brothers store in Tulsa will continue to carry a large inventory of Ashley Furniture and probably won't change its selection too much. However, the Ashley stores may carry some styles that are exclusive to the Ashley retail shops, he said.
Mathis Brothers is in the midst of a 100,000-square-foot warehouse expansion at its Tulsa location that will allow the retailer to add more showroom space and carry a larger stock and selection of furniture.
The project will give the retailer 300,000 square feet total, with about half devoted to warehouse space. The expanded warehouse will function as a central distribution point for all stores under the Mathis Brothers umbrella, including Ashley stores in the Tulsa area.
Each new store will probably employ 25 to 30 people, and the expansion should add 15 to 25 workers to the Mathis warehouse and delivery system, Woessner said.
Original Print Headline: Furniture move-in
Kyle Arnold 918-581-8380
Mathis Brothers, which already carries some Ashley Furniture products, will open two Ashley Furniture HomeStores in metro Tulsa. STEPHEN PINGRY / Tulsa World
More lines of Ashley Furniture will be available at two Ashley Furniture HomeStores when they open in the Tulsa area. STEPHEN PINGRY / Tulsa World