A FURNITURE brand which has spawned more than 800 stores across the world is coming to Wodonga.
An Ashley Furniture HomeStore will open on Sunday in Watson Street, opposite Wodonga Plaza.
Founded in Chicago in 1945, the Ashley name has been taken around the world with showrooms in US, Canada, Mexico, Japan and Australia and its furniture sold in 123 countries.
Wodonga store director Taylor McPhail opened an Ashley outlet in Wangaratta’s Tone Road last year and believed it would be worth expanding to the Twin Cities.
“We’ve had over 50 per cent growth in Wangaratta and this will be the sixth store in Australia,” Mr McPhail said.
The opening of the Ashley store will precede the arrival of Amart Furniture in Albury’s former Bunnings hardware.
The Border Mail this week reported a development application for the chain store’s plans for the Young Street building had been lodged with Albury Council.
An opening date is not being made public by financial group Crowe Horwath, which is behind the venture.
Nearby furniture retailer John Lawrence, who opened in premises on Young Street south of the former Bunnings in 2013, said Amart would not be a direct competitor.
“I’m not in that market – I support Australian-made stuff, that’s my point of difference, I have dining tables from Tasmania and lounges that are made in Sydney and Melbourne,” he said.
Mr Lawrence noted that furniture retailing was in flux on the Border with two traders Peter White in Wodonga and Northside at Lavington’s Five Ways having closed in the past year.
Fellow Young Street shopkeeper and former mayor Henk van de Ven is delighted Amart will open across the road from his Enzed hose franchise.
“It’s fantastic news, obviously there’s been a lot of speculation over the last 18 months since Bunnings announced they were moving out to Drome Street,” Cr van de Ven said.
“It’s such a big site, not everyone can go in there, so it’s wonderful a national brand, national company, is showing confidence in the Albury-Wodonga area and setting up a site.”
- Receive our daily newsletter straight to your inbox each morning from The Border Mail. Sign up here