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How do Rooms to Go and Ashley furniture differ?

By Jeff Frank

Both Rooms To Go and Ashley sell furniture in the lower to lower-mid priced category. Both are among the 5 largest furniture retailers in the U.S.

Most Rooms to Go furniture is purchased overseas in huge quantities and brought in by container . The company popularized the concept of selling complete rooms rather than individual pieces.

Ashley is a manufacturer in addition to being a retailer and makes its wood furniture primarily overseas. Upholstered furniture is made both overseas and in the U.S.

The company’s furniture is sold through many large retail chains in addition to being sold in Ashley owned or franchised stores. Because many of these stores are independently owned, the rules that govern warranties, customer service and other details can differ widely among different locations.

Both companies sell “affordable” furniture that can look very nice when new, but is not designed to hold up over extended time periods.
Ashley was one of the first U.S. furniture manufacturers to recognize and take advantage of the cheap labor market in Asia several decades ago.

Although many consumers assume that low cost imported furniture still relies on cheap labor, much of the overseas furniture manufacturing has actually changed to where it is now made in huge (1 million+ sq. ft.) factories that are highly automated.

One of the disadvantages of having furniture produced in massive quantities in a relatively few huge manufacturing facilities is that the designs have to be very simple to make and avoid anything that would require a highly skilled craftsperson.

Also, because it is much more efficient to build large numbers of identical products, the result has been that much of the popularly priced furniture now being sold in retail stores looks very much the same.
When purchasing furniture (or any other high priced consumer product) it is always a good idea to first research the product and the company you are buying from by going to Google and searching for “Reviews and complaints for _______

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Shopping for furniture can be complex and frustrating. Salespeople often do not have enough knowledge to answer your questions or give advice based on limited experience

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