Retail Therapy: Living Spaces Opens in Grand Prairie With Magnolia Home, Dallas Startup The Tot Poised to Grow

California-based Living Spaces opened its biggest store in a chain of 22 locations in four states in Grand Prairie on Friday.The 185,000-square-foot store sells furniture for the whole house at prices as low as Ikea down the street, only you don't have to put the furniture together.Sound a little braggadocious? Well, Living Spaces CEO and founder Grover Geiselman learned the furniture business from Houston's Mattress Mack.Actually, Geiselman is soft spoken and doesn't appear in the retailer's commercials like Houston's Gallery Furniture founder and owner Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale does. But he did slip in that dig about not having to put the furniture together in an interview Thursday.Geiselman, who grew up in Houston and went to the University of Texas at Austin, was in graduate school at Stanford University when he had to create a business model. After his bond trading software was rejected by his adviser and he had a horrible experience buying furniture in California, he thought of Mattress Mack. He decided to go learn, particularly how he delivers furniture the same day it's purchased."There was nothing like Gallery Furniture in California," he said.Geiselman spent four months in the summer of 2002 working for McIngvale. "We unloaded trucks in the morning. Sold furniture in the stores during the day and delivered at night."By 2003 he found an empty building that had been a Costco in Rancho Cucamonga and opened the first Living Spaces. "Thankfully, there was a big housing boom in California," he said. He's high on the economic growth in Texas and would move his company here, he said, but his family is not open to being uprooted.  Continue reading...

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