Ashley Furniture plans to open a new, hybrid showroom and outlet store along Humes Road in Janesville that the company says is a new concept of stores it plans to operate.

In May, Wisconsin-based Ashley Furniture plans to open an Ashley HomeStore furniture showroom and an Ashley Furniture Outlet—the company’s first outlet store—in 30,000 square feet in the former Village Plaza shopping center just east of the Shopko.

Ashley officials say the new store at 2600 Humes Road will be owned and operated by family-owned, Stevens Point furniture retailer Boston Furniture & Appliance Mart. The store will employ 21 people, and the company is hiring now to staff the store, which is expected to have a grand opening in May.

The store will open in a large space under renovation between the Harbor Freight Store and the Anytime Fitness center. The strip mall is owned by Madison retail developer Steve Doran and is part of The Marketplace at Janesville, a set of holdings that includes the multistore shopping facility at the former Menard’s off North Pontiac Drive.

The space Ashley plans to fill has been mainly vacant in recent years, with a seasonal Halloween store locating there for part of the year.

Jon Gadbois, marketing vice president with Boston FAM and Ashley HomeStore, said the new Janesville store is one of a handful of locations Ashley is opening that will combine a HomeStore with new venture, Ashley Furniture Outlet.

He said the outlet portion of the store will feature closeout and floor models, as well as new lines of furniture that are “extraordinarily priced” for budget furniture buyers. The store’s HomeStore gallery will carry Ashley’s “Urbanology,” “Vintage Casual” and newer “Mane + Mason” lines, along with a mattress gallery with such brands as Tempur-Pedic, Simmons, Serta and iComfort.

Ashley is based in Arcadia and operates about 700 HomeStore locations worldwide, mostly in North America.

The Ashley store will add to a growing number of furniture locations at the intersection of Humes Road and Milton Avenue.

Gadbois said Ashley and partner Boston Furniture & Appliance Mart chose Janesville for a new location because the company’s two Madison stores serve a growing number of Janesville-area customers.

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