Archive for Thursday, May 9, 2002

Furniture retailer to open next year

May 9, 2002

Nebraska Furniture Mart is growing larger all the time.

Originally, plans called for a 580,000-square-foot superstore and warehouse.

Now, said Mark Hamilton, NFM director of marketing, the the store and warehouse will take up 712,000 square feet. Construction has begun and the $55 million store is expected to be up and running by mid-2003.

Hamilton acknowledged the store will have an edge on its competitors.

"We will not be beat on price," he said. "It will be the lowest-priced in the area."

NFM's goal low-price goal is top priority.

"When you come into our store, you should find it cheaper in our store," Hamilton said. "And in many cases, depending on the item, of course, a lot of the time it will be a lot cheaper."

The store focuses on four lines line of merchandise: furniture, appliances, flooring and electronics, all with vast selections, he said. For instance, Hamilton said electronics will take up 100,000 square feet.

"We will probably have the biggest electronic superstore in this area, in one store," Hamilton said.

NFM reaches out to customers in ways that some stores don't, he said.

"It is the kind of place where people will come for the day and shop," Hamilton said.

The store will include a restaurant, a children's play area, an arcade-like area in the electronic department where customers can try out the newest video games, and an area where customers can test software. Shoppers can watch cooking demonstrations in working kitchens. And, they can pick up merchandise at the warehouse, or have it delivered, something the company has long been handling for Kansas City-area shoppers who visit the Omaha store, 180 miles away.

In terms of sales in the home furnishings department, Hamilton said, the Omaha store is the largest in the country.

NFM, which is owned by Warren Buffet, was started by Rose Blumkin in 1937. Her motto was "Sell cheap and tell the truth."

Hamilton said the philosophy has paid off.

"We've just completed our 64th year of growth, and every year has been better than the last," he said.

The store's location, just east of Kansas Speedway, was a draw, Hamilton said, as well as the highway access and other new attractions.

"It's a great area," Hamilton said. "The Speedway's super, the access to the interstate system is incredible and we've got a great neighbor with Cabela's."

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