ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Top 100 retailer American Furniture Warehouse is looking to grow its Arizona footprint with new stores in Phoenix and Tucson.
As first reported by the Phoenix Business Journal, the Englewood, Colo.-based retailer aims to build a 200,000-square-foot facility in Surprise. Of the square footage, 150,000 will be used for showroom space with 50,000 square feet of warehouse space. The property is located at the northeast corner of Loop 303 and Waddell Road, north of a planned 700,000-square-foot retail, restaurant and entertainment center.
“What you look for is fast growing areas,” Jake Jabs, AFW’s founder and CEO, told Furniture Today. “They built this new freeway in Phoenix, 303, and I decided to drive it one day. I was amazed with the houses going up there; builder after builder after builder. I found out it’s one of the fastest growing areas in Phoenix.”
American Furniture Warehouse currently has two stores open in the Phoenix area, in Gilbert and in Glendale, with a third store expected to open this fall in a former Costco in Phoenix. Geographically, Gilbert is in the southeast of the Phoenix metro and is close to Chandler and Mesa while Glendale is in its northwest. The Surprise store would be further to the northwest, opening additional opportunities in the city’s northwestern suburbs. The former Costco site is in Phoenix’s uptown.
AFW’s location strategy in Phoenix mirrors the approach the retailer took when entering the Houston market in 2018. In both instances the retailer surrounded the city core with locations in rapidly growing suburbs, almost literally forming a circle around the cities’ center. Jabs noted at the time that the company targets high density population centers where its large stores and product assortments enable it to capture a broad base of customers. “We’ve had stores in Montana and Wyoming, but I’ve learned we’re geared for big populations,” Jabs told Furniture Today at the time of the Houston opening. “To make our thing work, we’ve got to do a lot of volume.”
That strategy is also in full view in Marana, which is one of the northernmost cities in the greater Tucson area. The company has purchased 19.24 acres of land northwest of the city in Marana for $8,085,400 in Twin Peaks, near Interstate 10.
“We’ve been looking at Tucson for a long time. We just couldn’t get a good location. It’s the fastest growing new area in Tucson. It’s a good freeway location and access,” Jabs said, noting that he scanned the area from a helicopter to choose the optimum location.
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