Growing Stickley’s Footprint: Expansion Under the Audis

Growing Stickley’s Footprint: Expansion Under the Audis

One way to measure the Audi family’s impact on the growth and staying power of L. & J.G. Stickley is in simple square-footage! As production began to ramp up again following the 1974 purchase of the company, and dealers and customers saw that the craftsmanship they loved was very much alive, demand followed. Each significant increase in furniture sales, combined with acquisitions of other brands, meant the company needed to grow its manufacturing capabilities again and again.


Alfred and Aminy Audi looking over Fayetteville expansion plans with David Nutting of VIP Furniture

1974 Fayetteville, New York – 50,000 square feet

The Fayetteville factory the Audis bought had been L. & J.G. Stickley’s base of operations for 74 years, and it showed. Both the building and the machinery were antiquated and in need of improvement. The Audis and the staff worked hard to address its daily maintenance and the long-term needs of the company. They later expanded the facility in 1982. (Today, of course, that building houses The Stickley Museum!)



The Audi family with Mayor Arkie Albanese and Congressman George Wortley at the groundbreaking of the Manlius plant in October 1984

1985 Manlius, New York – 130,000 square feet

Business was increasing at a steady rate, and it soon became clear that the company had outgrown the Fayetteville factory. Ground was broken in 1984 for a larger, more modern plant in the neighboring village of Manlius, and the new Stickley headquarters opened there in 1985, complete with 121,000 square feet of manufacturing space and a 15,500-square-foot showroom area. A series of seven expansions and remodels brought more improvements over the following years, particularly after the re-issued Mission Oak Collection raised the company’s profile significantly in 1989. Today, the Manlius facility measures over 400,000 square feet of manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, and office space!

                  
                               Inside the Manlius plant, craftspeople build the antiques of the future

1995 Stickley Fine Upholstery – 122,000 square feet

A key way in which Stickley expanded its reach was through strategic acquisitions of existing brands and their production assets. In 1995, poised to fully enter the upholstery business, Stickley purchased Heirloom Upholstery, a high-end manufacturer in High Point, North Carolina, that was highly regarded by Stickley’s network of dealers. Its factory, later relocated to a larger facility in nearby Archdale, became Stickley Fine Upholstery, where our luxury upholstered goods are made to this day.

   
                                             Stickley Fine Upholstery in Archdale, North Carolina

2005 Stickley International – 187,000 square feet

In 2005, the company launched its first international subsidiary, which would allow it to offer a more diversified product line. A spacious new factory, Stickley International, was built near Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, and a former Manlius plant manager relocated to get it up and running. To ensure that corporate culture, product quality, and value remained consistent across all plants, long-time employees who were themselves Vietnamese immigrants to the U.S. made return trips to their homeland to help train new workers there in Stickley’s signature construction techniques and practices. (This also allowed them an opportunity to reconnect with family back home.)

   
                                        Our purpose-built factory, Stickley International, LLC, in Vietnam


Retail Showrooms
 

While years of expansion took place on the manufacturing side, Stickley’s retail presence was also growing, beginning with showrooms in Rochester and Albany in the early 1980s. The Fayetteville showroom, formerly housed in the old factory and then in Manlius, now welcomes visitors from throughout the country in a 78,000 square-foot building in Towne Center, where it displays all of Stickley’s products as well as other fine furnishings, rugs, and mattresses. Today, twelve Stickley Furniture|Mattress showrooms and Stickley Design Centers can be found in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Colorado, with more on the way!

                                        The new Stickley Design Center in White Plains, New York

Additional sources:

Mrs. Aminy Audi, CEO and Chair of the Board

Amanda Clifford, Director, The Stickley Museum