Nebraska Furniture Mart
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Nebraska Furniture Mart is the largest home furnishing store in North America selling furniture, flooring, appliances and electronics. NFM was founded in 1937 by Belarus-born Rose Blumkin, universally known as Mrs. B., in Omaha, Nebraska, United States, on a $500 investment. Under the motto "sell cheap and tell the truth," she worked in the business until age 103. In 1983, Mrs. B. sold a majority interest to Berkshire Hathaway in a handshake deal with Warren Buffett.
Presently, Nebraska Furniture Mart has four stores in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Texas.
The Omaha, Nebraska store is over 420000 sqft of retail space and is on 77 acre of land. The store is located in a single collective campus on South 72nd street in West Omaha, Nebraska. In 1994, the store added a massive electronics and appliance store selling computers, software, music, movies and personal electronic items as well as TVs and appliances. The campus also includes Mrs. B's Clearance Center and Factory Outlet. Both the Omaha and Kansas City locations house over 85,000 furniture items, 185,000 appliance and electronics items and over 1 million square yards of carpet.
A second store opened in 2001 and is located in Clive, Iowa, a suburb of Des Moines. At 24000 sqft it is the smallest of the four locations, selling a selection of appliances, flooring and electronics. Nebraska Furniture Mart also owns Homemakers, a furniture store in Urbandale, Iowa, another suburb of Des Moines.
Kansas City, Kansas
The Kansas City store opened in 2003 in the Village West development on the far western edge of Kansas City, Kansas, 12 miles west of downtown Kansas City, Missouri. The store is located across from the Kansas Speedway and Children's Mercy Park. It encompasses a total of 1.1 million sq. ft. of retail and warehouse space and is on 88 acre of land. It was the first location outside of Omaha to offer the full range of products. It draws visitors all over the United States and has become a popular tourist attraction.
The opening of the Kansas City store was initially plagued with problems for nearly two years. The store was overwhelmed by the number of customers, which also caused deliveries to lag by more than 30 days. The problems multiplied, because the initial rush of customers never let up. Because of the initial difficulty in getting the large store up and running, NFM president Ron Blumkin initially told Warren Buffett that he never had plans to open another store. The problems with the Kansas City location opening would lead to much more long-term planning in the eventual development and opening of the Texas location.
The Colony, Texas
On November 9, 2011 Nebraska Furniture Mart announced a plan to expand its retail operation to North Texas. Construction of the new store started in September 2012 in The Colony, which is a far north suburb of Dallas. The new location had an unadvertised soft opening on March 4, 2015 for friends and family. With more than 2,000 employees to train during the two months that followed, the grand opening and ribbon-cutting festivities took place on May 7, 2015. The Colony location is the largest of the four locations, boasting 560000 sqft square feet of retail space and 1300000 sqft square feet of warehouse/distribution space.
- "NFM Press Release". http://www.nfmcontent.com/press%20releases/nfm%20dallas%20press%20release.pdf.
- Lowenstein, Roger. Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist. Random House, 1995, (pp. 246–256), ISBN 0-679-41584-X