ARCADIA, Wis. (WKBT) - Ashley Furniture is breaking ground on a 500,000 square foot facility expansion.
This newest addition in Arcadia will feature Ashley's E-Commerce Fulfillment and Distribution Center.
The current facility was established in 1970 and is 175 acres.
Ashley Furniture's manufacturing workforce in Arcadia has grown to nearly 5,000 employees and the company's founder views this expansion as an investment and a way to preserve jobs in our area.
Founder and Chairman of Ashley Furniture Ron Wanek, says with a low 2.8 percent unemployment rate in Trempealeau County, the company hopes to retain jobs and improve its services.
"Because we have to beat global competition, we have to compete with every nation in the world."
The new expansion will allow the facility to fulfill E-Commerce orders and store more furniture on-site to better serve customers.
"So it's an entirely different way of processing orders and shipping orders," Wanek said.
Mayor of Arcadia Rob Reichwein says the expansion is not only important for Arcadia, but for Western Wisconsin as a whole.
"Not only does it bring construction jobs, but it also keeps more full time employees here, that has benefits, it helps the hospitals and the clinics and the other local businesses around here not just in the city of Arcadia."
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says the expansion will have more than just manufacturing benefits.
"This is about a distribution center that will help them meet the business needs of keeping up with online purchases, really putting them at the forefront of the furniture industry around the country and around the world."
Wanek says growing the business is necessary to compete with online businesses like Amazon.
"We have to earn the right to do business, we have to earn the right to earn the customer's confidence, if Amazon can deliver in two days, that's where the customer is going to go."
Governor Scott Walker said Wisconsin ranks in the top ten states with the highest level of people employed and the lowest unemployment rate since 1999.
Ashley's expansion costs about $30 million and the expansion will be about 11 acres, which is just under seven city blocks.
The expansion is expected to be finished by February.
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