Company Timeline


1941-1976 |  1979-1989 |  1990-1999

2000-2009 |  2010-2019 |  2020

1941
Ron Wanek is born in rural Minnesota.

1945
Carlyle Weinberger founds Ashley Furniture Corporation as a sales organization with headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.

1970
Arcadia Furniture is started by Ron Wanek and 35 employees in Arcadia, WI.

1974
Ashley develops its own transportation fleet.

1976
Major ownership and management is restructured. The company rebirths product lines and retools its facilities.
1979
Todd Wanek is officially hired as an Ashley Furniture Corporation employee (#158).

1982
Ron attends the Dallas Furniture Market and realizes there are new foreign competitors. We must adapt. Arcadia Furniture and Ashley Furniture Corporation merge into one company: Ashley Furniture Industries. Corporate headquarters were moved from Chicago, IL to Arcadia, WI.

1983
A “Suggestion Program,” which was later renamed “The Idea Network,” improves efficiencies and quality while reducing cost. Employees are rewarded for being Agents of Change–a critical component of Ashley’s continuous improvement culture.

1984
Ashley begins manufacturing bedroom furniture and a blended strategy is implemented into manufacturing operations.

1986
Ashley Furniture Industries turns the furniture industry on its head with an innovative, patented product line called “Millennium.” The largest investment made in the furniture industry for a product line.

1987
Establishes plant in Whitehall, WI. This facility is equipped with state-of-the-art finishing equipment to produce Ashley Furniture Industries signature Millennium line.

1988
Ashley Furniture Industries introduces formal and casual dining rooms and mixed media furniture with various combinations of glass, marble, steel and wood.

1989
Todd Wanek moves to Asia to serve as the General Manager of Ashley Furniture Industries Taiwan. He begins establishing and managing Ashley Furniture Industries business development in China, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia.
1990
Ashley Taiwan plant is sold. Ashley, led by efforts of Todd Wanek, begins to focus major efforts on China and other areas in Asia.

1991
The first monuments, funded by Ron Wanek and Ashley Furniture, are placed along Soldiers Walk in Arcadia Memorial Park.

1992
Ashley Furniture Industries intermodal rail yard is established; only one in Wisconsin and one of seven private yards in the U.S.

1994
Ashley buys a 135,000-square-foot Canadian upholstery manufacturing plant in Ecru, MS., and begins expanding it to the nearly two-million-square-feet that is today.

1996
Ashley Furniture Industries introduces leather upholstery.

1996
Todd Wanek is promoted to Ashley Furniture Industries President and Chief Operations Officer.

1997
The first Ashley Furniture HomeStore opens in Anchorage, Alaska.

1997
Ashley’s Angels is formed by a truck driver in Mississippi. The non-profit organization provides food, clothing, and toys to underprivileged children.

1999
Wanek receives City of Hope’s Spirit of Life Award for professional, humanitarian and philanthropic achievements. He is also named President of the American Furniture Manufacturers Association.
2000
The first international Ashley Furniture HomeStore opens in Aichi, Japan.

2000
Sales top $1 billion.

2001
Ashley creates largest manufacturing and distribution facility in China.

2002
Todd Wanek is promoted to Ashley Furniture Industries Chief Executive Officer. Ron Wanek becomes Chairman of the Board.

2004
Ashley Furniture Industries’ upholstered products become the best-selling in the world.

2005
Ashley Furniture Industries becomes the world’s largest manufacturer of furniture.

2009
Ashley for the Arts is formed and holds its first event in Arcadia, WI. The non-profit holds an annual event to raise money to support more than 40 participating non-profit organizations.

2009
Ashley Furniture Industries launches Ashley-Sleep®.
2010
Ashley Furniture HomeStore launches the Hope to Dream program to provide beds to underprivileged children — allowing them a good night’s sleep.

2011
Wanek receives the distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Home Furnishings Alliance.

2013
Wholesale sales approach $4 billion as the company is selling over 30 million pieces annually.

2013
RG Wanek Center is dedicated at High Point University in October.

2014
Ashley launches Ashley Express, its direct-to-consumer delivery program, next day delivery with sights on same day delivery.

2015
Ashley Furniture HomeStore retail operations facility opens in Ybor City (Tampa), FL.

2015
Ashley Furniture HomeStore launches its first eCommerce website as part of the Omni-Channel initiative.

2016
Ashley Furniture HomeStore is rebranded to Ashley HomeStore, unveiling a new logo and brand implementation begins.

2016
Ashley Furniture Industries introduces outdoor furniture.

2019
Ashley HomeStore opens its 1000th store.

2019
Ashley purchases an easy to assemble (ETA) furniture manufacturing facility.
2020
Ashley celebrates 75 years in the industry.

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