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Ashley Furniture HomeStore returns to Hawaii

Two Oahu Rooms Hawaii stores converted

Article from Furniture Today by Clint Engel on May 24, 2011

HONOLULU — C.S. Wo & Sons has converted its two Rooms Hawaii stores to Ashley Furniture HomeStores on Oahu, bringing the dedicated store network back into Hawaii.

The 36,000- and 20,000-square-foot HomeStores soft opened May 19 and grand opened Friday, said Daphne Oliveros, division manager for the Honolulu-based Top 100 company.

"We are converting the stores to Ashley Furniture HomeStores to bring to Hawaii the No. 1 name in furniture and its broad selection of styles (and) its great values," she said, adding that Ashley's "stocking capabilities in Colton, Calif., is a plus for our customers."

Delivery will be speedier on the stocked goods, Oliveros said, noting that typically with direct buys by C.S. Wo, the retailer has manufacturer lead times to contend with as well as shipping times of about 30 days.

A former HomeStores business under a different licensee on Oahu opened in 2002 and closed abruptly in 2006, leaving customers without the furniture they had ordered and paid for in advance, according to a report by the Honolulu Star Advertiser. Most of about 132 complaints filed with the state Office of Consumer Protection were eventually resolved with the help of C.S. Wo, Hawaii's dominant furniture retailer.

Oliveros said the company doesn't expect its own reputation to be at risk because of the HomeStores' history under a different operator, noting Ashley's national name and strength.

The former Rooms Hawaii stores featured a room-package format and carried multiple lines, including Ashley, at affordable prices, Oliveros said. C.S. Wo also carries Ashley in its Furnitureland stores on the big island of Hawaii and in BJ Furniture Mart on Maui.

She declined to disclose the retailer's investment in the conversion and projected sales under the new HomeStores banner.

C.S. Wo is No. 77 on the Furniture/Today's Top 100 with estimated furniture, bedding and accessories sales of $63 million at 15 stores in Hawaii and one upscale C.S. Wo Gallery in Costa Mesa, Calif.