electronics

Nebraska Furniture Mart Gives DFW Shoppers a Reason to Look Around

560,000-square-foot Nebraska Furniture Mart opens in The Colony this spring

Nebraska Furniture Mart, the largest home furnishing store in North America, is opening its biggest retail space to date this spring in The Colony.

The 560,000-square-foot store with be situated in the same complex with its gigantic distribution center. The two combined are the size of 31 football fields. The store sells furniture, flooring, electronics and appliances all under one roof.

To give DFW area consumers a sense of what to expect when it opens, NBC5’s Consumer Specialist Deanna Dewberry traveled to the company’s flagship store in Omaha and sat down with NMF’s President and Chief Operating Officer Ron Blumkin.

"We have a lot of people counting on us to do well," said Blumkin, who calls those who work for him teammates rather than employees.

The store will have 2,000 employees and has already hired hundreds to prepare for the grand opening. With Nebraska Furniture Mart being a family business, Blumkin feels the pressure.

In 1937, his grandmother Rose Blumkin founded the company in the basement of her husband’s shop in Omaha. She spent the next several decades growing the business. Then in 1983, with a handshake and a $60 million deal, NFM joined Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway empire.

The company has locations in Omaha, Kansas City and Des Moines. The location in The Colony will be the company’s first venture out of the Midwest. Ron Blumkin and his brother Irv, sit at the helm.

"As Mr. Buffett so eloquently puts it, ‘the Blumkin kids, we won the ovarian lottery,’ " said Ron Blumkin. "It’s true."

And grandma had a golden rule. "The founder’s mantra was we’re going to sell cheaper than our competitors, period," Blumkin said.

It does so by constantly monitoring the competition, which includes big box stores like Target and Walmart, Home Depot, Best Buy, Internet retailers, and scores of local, regional and national furniture stores.

In electronics and appliances, NFM even has digital price tags so with the flip of a switch it can change prices. Blumkin also said if consumers see a product cheaper elsewhere, NFM will often beat that price.

"That’s the goal," he said.

Stores like Target, Walmart, Home Depot and Best Buy also have price matching policies. That means when NFM opens in The Colony, DFW-area residents should shop around because the competition will be good for consumers.

But Blumkin believes the store in The Colony has one very big competitive advantage: Its colossal distribution center.

It holds 500,000 pieces of merchandise, everything from electronics to furniture and has 13 miles of aisles when placed end to end.

"Some of my competitors think that it’s one of the stupidest moves every attempted," said Blumkin. "I think they’re wrong."

The on-site distribution center offers consumers the convenience buying a couch, mattress or computer, and in many cases, bringing it home the same day, according to Blumkin.

The store is organized in sections. Next to furniture is flooring. Appliances and electronics are in a separate area. Doors will access each so consumers don’t have to walk the entire space to find what they need. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t wear comfortable shoes.

As for the grand opening, Blumkin is giddy with excitement, like a kid in a candy store, or in his case, a mega home furnishing store.

“Wow. How excited do I appear to be?” he said with a smile.

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