In episode 421 of Total Retail Talks, Editor-in-Chief Joe Keenan interviews Chris Wantlin, chief retail officer at Ashley, the No. 1 furniture and mattress retailer in North America. Among other topics, Wantlin discusses the company's recent rebrand, how Ashley is bringing consumer awareness to its brand refresh, and the internal collaboration needed to execute the rebrand. He details the new store experience for Ashley shoppers, how the furniture retailer selected the first five markets to receive store refreshes, and how associates are involved in the rebrand initiative (8:20).
In addition, Wantlin discusses Ashley's strategy to roll out store refreshes across all stores nationwide, how digital and e-commerce fit into the retailer's new omnichannel brand experience, and how the retailer merchandises regional product assortments in stores throughout different markets.
Chris Wantlin is the esteemed chief retail officer of Ashley Global Retail, LLC, where he holds a comprehensive oversight of the company's profit and loss statements and overall operations. With a wealth of experience, Wantlin effectively manages a vast network of 120 enterprise-owned and operated store locations, as well as over 700 licensee-owned and operated stores. Under his leadership, these stores generate an impressive annual retail sales revenue of over $6 billion. Wantlin is responsible for guiding and directing the strategic direction to the retail brand, overseeing the customer care team, marketing teams, e-commerce division, merchandising teams, and store design teams. Wantlin's primary focus lies in the creation and implementation of omnichannel, multibrand strategies that prioritize the customer and enhance the Ashley retail brand. Ultimately, his efforts aim to elevate the overall customer experience for Ashley's retail store customers.