After three months and almost $600,000 in remodeling, the west-side Ashley HomeStore is celebrating a grand reopening.
The store never actually closed during renovations. It had a limited showroom that moved to different areas of the 36,000-square-foot space as work was done.
The remodeled store, which is on West 21st Street just west of Maize Road, has a completely different look that now matches the east-side store near Kellogg and Greenwich.
“It’s a lot more open now,” says Jordan Storey, director of marketing and e-commerce for parent company Wichita Furniture.
“We’ve taken down some of the extra walls, and it’s given us the ability to actually add furniture in here, so you’ve got more selection now, too.”
While walls were demolished to create a more open feel, the ceiling was lowered for another look.
“It has a lot more homey feel because the ceilings aren’t so high,” Storey says. “It makes it feel like it’s your house, right?”
With concrete floors instead of carpet, the store has a more contemporary feel.
“It really displays the rugs really well, I think,” Storey says.
Previously, the store had wood beams and “a really rustic feel,” he says.
Technology is a big focus in the new space.
There’s a technology bar where customers can view thousands of items.
“Now we have 100 percent of Ashley’s products at our fingertips,” Storey says. “Unfortunately, we can’t fit it all under one roof.”
Customers can text or e-mail from devices at the bar to automatically share furniture photos and dimensions with others.
Storey says they’re high-resolution images “so if you really want to get in there and look at the finishes you can.”
“It’s going to increase the shopability.”
Employees also will have the same information on iPads as they walk throughout the store.
Ashley’s furniture, which for the first time includes outdoor furniture, is now in new groupings according to style. For instance, there are labeled sections such as “urbanology” and “vintage casual.”
“The cool thing about this is … everything here is separated by lifestyle,” Storey says. “You just shop your area … and you can kind of mix and match within your area.”
There’s also a new facade along with an LED display out front to advertise the store’s long-term financing and competitive pricing.
“We’re definitely the working man’s friend,” Storey says.
The last time the store was remodeled was in 2006 when the showroom expanded from 12,000 square feet to 36,000 square feet.
Wichita’s Stephen & Sons Construction did the most recent renovation.
Jay Storey, Jordan Storey’s father and the Wichita Furniture founder and president, says it was “time to give our store a refresh.”
“Obviously, we’re in the fashion industry,” he says.
With an ever-growing product line, Jay Storey says Ashley HomeStore’s latest store model is a great way to showcase it.
“Our desire is to make our furniture look like it does in your home.”