Ashley HomeStore, Myrtle Grove area of just south of Wilmington, N.C.
Wilmington, N.C. — Broad River Retail acquired a pair of Ashley HomeStores here on Dec. 16.
The Fort Mill, S.C.-based retail group, which owns and operates HomeStores throughout the Carolinas and Georgia, purchased two stores from H.E.W. Enterprises, owned by longtime retailers Herbie and Elaine Walton. H.E.W. first opened HomeStores in Wilmington back in 2000.
“We’re buying a healthy, successful company, and they were ready to retire. We’ve been friends and talked to them for years and years,” Broad River CEO Charlie Malouf told Furniture Today. “Part of our strategic growth plan includes new markets. This is a new market that’s attractive to us. It’s contiguous, it’s in North Carolina, and it’s a good market. Our people are ready to extend our culture and the way we do business. I think we’ve earned the right to take on this acquisition and bring them into the fold.”
As part of the acquisition, all 49 employees in the two stores, as well as the warehouse team, will all be retained.
“Broad River got a whole lot stronger today with the addition of 49 Memory Makers (Broad River’s name for sales associates),” said Manny Rodrigues, chief operating officer. “We’re proud to call Herbie a friend. It was a special day yesterday. We’re thankful for Herbie and Elaine and their years of service to the industry. We’re proud to welcome these new Memory Makers, and we’ll continue to march.”
While terms of the purchase weren’t disclosed, Malouf said it was one in which everybody walked away from the bargaining table happy. “They were looking out for us, and we were looking out for them,” he said.
The Myrtle Grove Ashley HomeStore (the older of the two stores, both of which are between 32,000 and 34,000 square feet) is the 11th oldest Ashley HomeStore, as it came online on May 5, 2000. The Ogden Plaza location opened in August 2018.
The addition of the two HomeStores brings Broad River’s current store count to 29 with two more in the offing. Malouf noted that for 2021, Broad River expects to revenues of around $240 million, which would represent a 33% growth over 2020’s figures.
Malouf said the growth in sales, plus the growth in store count, is part of Broad River’s overarching strategy.
“The way Manny and I have talked about growth is executing a plan. We look at No. 1, our current stores; No. 2 our current markets; and No. 3, new concepts within current markets,” Malouf said. “If we do 1-2-3 really well, No. 4, new markets, will open up for us. It’s a manifestation of planning and executing on the plan. We feel like we’re marching every day according to the plan.”
And as a way to introduce itself to the community, Broad River is making a $2,000 donation to the Willie Stargell Foundation. Stargell, a baseball Hall of Famer from the Pittsburgh Pirates, was a Wilmington resident who died of kidney disease. The foundation, named in his honor, supports programs focusing on kidney disease research, patient care, and easing the financial burden of medical costs for patients facing kidney disease.
Thomas Lester is Retail Editor for Furniture Today and Digital/Managing Editor for Home Accents Today. A graduate of Emory & Henry College’s Mass Communications program, Lester spent a dozen years working for newspapers in Virginia and North Carolina covering an array of subjects, ranging from community news, government, education, ACC sports, professional baseball and more before joining Furniture Today in 2013. Reach out to me with your story ideas, tips and more at firstname.lastname@example.org.