A U.S. Furniture Maker Shifts Gears from Manufacturing to Selling in China

Ashley Furniture's flagship store in Shanghai Photograph by Imaginechina via AP Photo

Last month, Wisconsin-based Ashley Furniture opened its second retail store in China. The showroom in the southern city of Suzhou displays furniture made for compact Chinese apartments, including dining room tables measuring 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) in length—as opposed to the standard length of 2 meters to 3 meters popular in the company’s U.S. stores. The Suzhou outlet also features glossy furniture sets marketed under the new label King’s Wear, a product line that is more luxurious and pricier than Ashley’s standard offerings. It is designed specifically for Chinese customers.

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