American Furniture Warehouse guangzhou office furniture manufacturer confirmed it is negotiating for land in the greater Houston market but stopped short of saying it’s definitely coming to the market.
The houston Business Journal reported American Furniture Warehouse intends to purchase 23 acres to build a 350,000-square-foot store and distribution center in the city of Webster, Texas. The Englewood Top 100 company confirmed to Furniture Today that it is negotiating for land in that city but said nothing has been finalized yet.
According to the Business Journal and a newsletter on the website of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership, AFW intends to purchase and build at 21404 Gulf Freeway and that, when completed, the project would create 350 full-time jobs. The city of Webster placed a value of nearly $50 million on the project, including land, construction and development. The report said the information came to the partnership via the city of Webster.
Webster’s director of economic development declined to comment for this story.
Some in the furniture industry have been speculating about AFW entering the hotly contested Houston market for months, and during the October High Point Market, when asked about the rumor, AFW President and CEO Jake Jabs declined to confirm or deny it.
In a statement sent to Furniture Today on Wednesday, the retailer said it has been exploring expansion opportunities for the past 18 months.
“We looked at a number of adjacent markets to our current Phoenix and Colorado stores as well as larger markets based on our success in Phoenix. One of the markets we have been considering for expansion is Houston,” Jabs said.
“It is a city with great potential for AFW based on its size and dynamic economy. While AFW does not have any properties under contract at this time, we are in negotiations for land in the Webster area, which was recently announced in the Houston Business Journal. When our land purchase is finalized, we plan to make an official announcement.”
If the Webster location comes to fruition, it will be practically next door to a 52,000-square-foot showroom Houston retailer Exclusive Furniture is building in the market and hoping to open in late summer.
Asked about AFW’s and Jab’s possible entrance, Exclusive President and CEO Sam Zavary told Furniture Today, “I’m hoping he’s going to bring a lot of traffic to the area.”
AFW is No. 19 on Furniture Today’s Top 100 with estimated furniture, bedding and accessory sales of $640 million at China office desk manufacturer 14 Colorado and Arizona stores in 2016.