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Throwback Thursday: Looking at Ashley

Perry recalled when, in the early '80s and covering occasional furniture, he asked an industry "pro" about an up-and-coming Wisconsin-based manufacturer with aggressive management and sharp pricing.

"The pro was not impressed. 'I've never heard of Ashley,'" Perry wrote. "That probably was the last time anybody made a comment like that."

After huge growth in the 1980s and '90s, Ashley hit its first billion-dollar year early in the new millennium and established the nation's largest furniture retail network.

Perry noticed this company early on, and Furniture Today is fortunate to have his continuing insight on the home furnishings industry.

Furniture Today turns 40 this year and to help our readers celebrate we offer this look back at the past 40 years of furniture industry history. Each week we’ll dig into the F/T archives to share insights from the industry’s past. We’d also like to hear your stories. If you’d like to share a story from the past 40 years of furniture industry history please write Editor in Chief Bill McLoughlin at

Twenty years ago this month, Furniture Today's Executive Editor David Perry, then managing editor of the publication, reminisced in a column about Ashley Furniture, which was in the process of becoming the country's largest furniture manufacturer.







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