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Ashley chooses Barbados


Ashley chooses Barbados

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In spite of the long-running economic recession that has gripped Barbados, the island is still an attractive investment option.

And that’s why the company which calls itself “the largest manufacturer of furniture in the world” – Ashley Furniture Industries Inc. – has chosen Barbados.

Ashley’s president of international sales and operations  Chuck Spang gave that rationale last week after the official opening of Ashley’s first Barbados store in Haggatt Hall, St Michael.

The venture, which has resulted in employment for 15 Barbadians, is a partnership between Ashley and local partners Luis Carrillo and his wife Gael.

Spang said Ashley was on a major international expansion drive and added that the Caribbean was a major focus of this effort.

“There is no question the economic challenges we have all faced in the last five to ten years have been challenging but we are excited about the future not only in the United States but the Caribbean and other parts of the world.

“Being a global brand we sell to 123 countries around the world today and we really see the opportunity for expansion of the brand throughout the Caribbean,” he said.

“We have a great national advertising programme and a lot of that feeds into the Caribbean area. So many of the citizens here see our advertising programme and with our 23 000 associates around the world and the quality of our products and our style we are excited to bring that to Barbados.”

Spang acknowledged that the current economic environment was “very challenging”, but he said the company was focused on continuous improvement.

“So this is a new prototype store and we are excited to have it here in Barbados and we are constantly looking at improving and changing our stores and listening to the consumer and what the consumer wants and needs and we think that’s a great opportunity in Barbados.” (SC)