Ashley HomeStore is moving into the former Stein Mart location in Southern Pines, Broad River Retail announced late last week. Doors are expected to open in the first half of 2022.
The Fort Mill-based retail group which licenses and operates Ashley HomeStores in the Carolinas and Georgia, said the new location will deepen its penetration within eastern North Carolina.
CEO Charlie Malouf said while Southern Pines and the Sandhills region already receives service from HomeStores in Fayetteville and Cary, placing new stores in existing markets is part of Broad River’s overall growth strategy.
“We already have customers in that area. We’ve seen when we go into small towns, we grow the market,” Malouf said. “We grow our penetration in the market. If we can be part of the local community, we can make a larger impact.”
The new store’s location at 10564 U.S. 15-501 in Southern Pines was first developed as a Bi-Lo grocery store, then later converted to Stein Mart in the late 2000s. The same building, which is located at the Brucewood Road intersection, is also occupied by Olive Garden and Grape Leaf Bistro restaurants.
Malouf said Broad River has had Southern Pines in its sights for a little while. “We’ve looked at this site for over a year. The landlord has been really great to work with during the negotiation process. They’re going to be a great landlord and it will help revitalize the area,” he said.
AshleyHomeStore currently has 31 locations in North Carolina and 703 overall.
Kim Harkness, Broad River’s senior director of marketing, communications and community outreach, pointed to recently opened HomeStores in Wilson and Albemarle, N.C., as examples of how Broad River’s small town strategy is working.
“The beauty of small towns also is allowing locations to go in and shop locally and hire locally in a small town,” Harkness said. “There’s a great importance in that. We found that in Albemarle and Wilson.”
Manny Rodrigues, Broad River’s chief operating officer, and Tim Sayles, project manager and associate director of facilities, safety and loss prevention, will oversee the construction efforts.
While work begins on Southern Pines, Broad River will soft-open an Ashley HomeStore Outlet in East Columbia, S.C., on Nov. 11, and it will hold a ribbon cutting for its relocated Anderson, S.C., HomeStore on Nov. 18. When East Columbia and Southern Pines are open, Broad River’s store count will reach 28 Ashley HomeStores.