UPDATED — More than four years after Sportsman’s Warehouse closed its east Wichita store, a new business is opening there.
“It took me two years to get this building bought,” says Jay Storey, president of Wichita Furniture.
In addition to being an Ashley Furniture licensee, Wichita Furniture is the parent company of Furniture on Consignment.
Storey says the 55,000-square-foot building at One Kellogg Place had gone through a couple of different holding companies that purchased it with a bundle of other buildings.
“Their business was to lease properties, and we wanted to own property,” Storey says. “We’re here to stay.”
Storey opened his first Ashley Furniture store near 21st and Maize Road in 2002.
“There was a need out there that we filled,” he says.
At the time, it was the 86th Ashley Furniture store.
“Now there’s over 500 stores worldwide,” Storey says.
He says the chain is the largest furniture manufacturer in the world and the largest retail furniture brand.
“They have a new model coming out, and we will be the first licensee … to have the new store-of-the-future concept,” Storey says.
He says there will be new displays and products along with the new layout.
“We’re repurposing a building that’s been vacated for over four and a half years,” Storey says. “We’ll be generating … 35 to 40 more jobs. They’re good jobs.”
The new store’s showroom will be in 45,000 square feet. The rest will be what Storey calls a distribution area – not storage.
“That’s a bad thing in my business.”
There’s a distribution center next to Furniture on Consignment at East 13th Street just west of Oliver.
After getting the new store open, Storey says, his next plans are to add 11,000 square feet to the distribution center, which services Furniture on Consignment and Ashely Furniture.
Storey says he’s what’s called a stocking dealer for Ashley Furniture, so customers don’t have to wait for furniture to be shipped.
He says that “means we offer instant gratification.”