The shuttered Ashley Furniture Home Store in Evergreen will reopen next month. The store closed in 2010 and the executive director of the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce said the opening is another step forward for the community.
“Businesses are interested in investing in here,” Bev Ferris said. “I think this is just the start of a renewed interest by retailers to move into Evergreen.”
Ashley Furniture approached the Living Room Furniture store in Missoula, which also runs DreamSleep in Kalispell, six months ago about reopening the Evergreen location as a franchise. Owner Morgan Halvorson said with the economy recovering and demand on the rise that reopening the store was a “no-brainer.”
When it opens in late April, the furniture store will employ about a dozen people.
“It’s the No. 1 chain nationally and the No. 1 manufacturer nationally and we’re excited about having a go at it in the Kalispell (area),” Halvorson said. “We hope it takes off like a rocket so we have to hire more personnel.”
In 2010 and 2011, Ashley Furniture stores in Missoula, Great Falls, Helena, Bozeman and Evergreen closed due to a sluggish economy.
Shane Walker manages the DreamSleep store in Kalispell and will be overseeing the new furniture store in Evergreen. A second DreamSleep location will also be established next door to Ashley Furniture. The Kalispell DreamSleep opened in November 2011 and Halvorson said it has exceeded expectations. Walker is hoping for the same success in Evergreen.
“They saw an opportunity to pick up the franchise here and do it right,” he said. “Evergreen is the right spot because that’s where the building is and people already know it’s there.”
Ferris said with the economy improving, Evergreen is the perfect spot for businesses.
“The economy is turning around and we have a fantastic location,” she said. “Evergreen is east to get into and out of.”
There are more than 500 Ashley Furniture franchisees across the country, according to Halvorson.
We’re excited to get it started,” Halvorson said.
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