•Click here to read more about the renovation of the old Target store and the new businesses opening soon.
•Click here to read more about the new Pizza Ranch coming to Elk River.
by Joni Astrup
The company behind the renovation of the former Target store in Elk River is Furniture Outlets USA, based in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Furniture Outlets USA purchased the nearly 90,000-square-foot building in 2009 for $3.4 million. It has been running a furniture liquidation center out of the space.
Gordy Wallenstein, president of Furniture Outlets USA, declined to say how much they are investing in the renovation of the building other than to say it has been “a large investment.”
The building is being turned into a Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft store and two furniture stores — Ashley Furniture HomeStore and Furniture Mart.
Wallenstein looks for Jo-Ann’s and the furniture stores to work well together.
“Jo-Ann Fabrics, it’s going to draw women, and women buy furniture,” he said. “So it’s a good fit for both us and for Jo-Ann. We’re both excited about being here in Elk River.”
Wallenstein said the two new furniture stores in Elk River will employ about 20 people.
With the two new Elk River stores, Furniture Outlets USA will have 34 stores in the Upper Midwest.
Furniture Outlets also owns the Ashley stores at the Albertville outlet mall and in St. Cloud as well as a distribution center in Fridley.
Wallenstein said Ashley is based in Arcadia, Wis., and is the largest furniture manufacturer in the world. The Ashley Furniture HomeStore will only carry the Ashley brand.
Furniture Mart will carry a full line of furniture representing a variety of brands.
Why move into the Elk River market?
“We had a void up in this area and it was actually a good investment,” Wallenstein explained. “Right now if you can afford or have the guts to buy property and to open a new business it’s a good time to buy because prices are down on things.”
He said they have several stores around the Twin Cities market and are focusing a lot of growth on the Furniture Mart brand, which he said isn’t well known in this area yet.
“We’re happy to be part of Elk River,” he said. “Obviously there’s a lot of competition in this market so we’re going to do our very best to earn our customers’ business.”
About Furniture Outlets USA
•Furniture Outlets USA is a family-owned furniture retail operation.
•Founded in 1976 by William A. Hinks, the company has grown from a single location in Sioux Falls, S.D. to No. 50 on the list of America’s Top 100 furniture retailers.
•The company has 32 retail store locations in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. With the two Elk River stores, that number will be 34.
•Stores operated by Furniture Outlets USA are Ashley Furniture HomeStores, Furniture Mart, Unclaimed Freight Furniture, Furnish 123 and Carpet One, as well as a few clearance centers.
•The company headquarters are in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Source: wwwfurniture outletsusa.com