Ashley Furniture in Arcadia broke ground on its new, 500,000 square foot e-commerce distribution center on Monday.
On hand, Governor Scott Walker, Arcadia Mayor Rob Reichwein, 92nd Assembly District Representative Treig Pronschinske and Ashley Furniture employees.
Ashley Furniture founder Ron Wanek said the expansion comes at a time when the marketplace is changing.
"If you're going to sell products, you gotta have it in warehouse," he said. "You can't deliver two or three weeks later you gotta deliver it now. The consumers want it right now because if you can't do it, they can get it from somebody else."
Wanek said online retailers like Amazon and Overstock.com have increased competition for customers.
"Whatever we're going to sell, we need to have it in stock and give immediate gratification," he said.
Ashley Furniture has contributed more than $500 million to Wisconsin's economy and provides 4,700 jobs to the west central part of the state.
"It's a huge part of not just Arcadia, but this county and the region all the way up through Eau Claire and down to La Crosse," Governor Scott Walker said. "It's one of the key reasons why this region does so well when it comes to employment levels."
The project is scheduled to be completed in nine months. When it's finished, the Arcadia plant will be home to 66.5 acres of indoor operations.