For Nebraska Furniture Mart, everything, including sales, is bigger in Texas (2022)

By Barbara Soderlin / World-Herald staff writer

THE COLONY, Texas — The first time Tabatha Thompson shopped at the new Nebraska Furniture Mart-Texas, in March, she was with her mother, who bought hardwood flooring.

The second time, Thompson bought a crib for the baby boy she’s expecting, and her neighbors bought several new major appliances.

On her third visit in less than a month, Thompson picked out storage bins for the baby’s room. And she is already anticipating making a fourth trip, saying her husband has to see this store.

Shoppers like Thompson have been so quick to explore and embrace Nebraska Furniture Mart that sales here already exceed sales in either Omaha or Kansas City, president and chief operating officer Ron Blumkin said.

That’s at a store that has been operating only about four weeks, with little advertising and no grand opening publicity. A “pre-grand opening” period started Thursday, and an official grand opening won’t happen until at least May, Blumkin said.

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In interviews over three days last week, shoppers from across the fast-growing far north Dallas suburbs said this massive store — the size of three Walmart Supercenters — stands out even in their “everything is bigger” state.

“It has everything to offer,” said Thompson, a stay-at-home mother from McKinney, Texas, a suburb just up the tollway from the new store.

She said the pricing and selection that have made Nebraska Furniture Mart successful in Omaha and Kansas City, Kansas, will also make it popular in Dallas.

“We don’t have anything like it,” she said. “We have a million stores and you can get everything, but not all under one roof.”

(Video) Nebraska Furniture Mart FULL STORE WALKTHROUGH & TOUR 2022 | Largest Store of its Kind in the USA

Some shoppers said they find the size almost too much to take in, but stay-at-home-mother Mickey Hendrickson, searching for a pull-out couch for her guest room, said, “I don’t find it overwhelming, except that I want to take everything home.”

Others praised the light, airy feel of the store, said prices are competitive and noted that even without much promotion, it seems everyone is talking about Nebraska Furniture Mart, eager to get inside after watching 2½ years of construction.

“I wanted to see what all the hoopla is about,” said Sharon Calhoun of Frisco, an insurance underwriter who visited with her daughter and granddaughters. She browsed for living room and bedroom pieces for her new home. “I’m tired of the old furniture.”

Edgar Gutierrez, 41, waited outside the store for it to open Wednesday morning so he could shop for a bed for his son. He held a notebook with a sketch of his son’s bedroom in one hand and a tape measure in the other. Gutierrez said he drove in from Fort Worth after looking at the store’s website and seeing the prices.

PHOTO GALLERY: A tour of Nebraska Furniture Mart-Texas

Early sales are ahead of the pace of the Omaha store, which brings in $450 million to $475 million annually, and bode well for Warren Buffett, given his recent boast that he expects $1 billion in annual sales from the Texas store.

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought a 90 percent stake in the Omaha-based Nebraska Furniture Mart in 1983 from its founder, Rose Blumkin. Rose Blumkin died in 1998, and today her grandsons lead the business.

Just because early sales are strong, though, doesn’t mean that there aren’t challenges, Ron Blumkin said.

Sales have been best in furniture, likely because “furniture” is in the name of the store. Fewer shoppers are aware that the store carries iPads, tile, barbecues or blenders. A pre-grand opening email sent Friday to some shoppers reminds them, “We have it all.”

There have been a few glitches with merchandise pickup. One shopper said she had to wait too long for a hand mixer that couldn’t be located in the warehouse because of an incorrect product number. Another customer told the Dallas Morning News about a delivery problem that kept her furniture at the store a full day after it was supposed to be at her home.

(Video) Nebraska Furniture Mart looks to fill more than 100 jobs

Fixing issues like this is what the soft opening is for, Blumkin said. He said the slow-open approach has served the store well, and that after one month, it’s operating as smoothly as the Kansas City store was after 15 months of operations. That store was understaffed and its warehouse was too small when it opened in 2003 to a mob of customers. The Texas store is capably managing current traffic, but a big rush could cause gridlock, he said.

If the Mart hasn’t been advertising, The Colony has. The city’s visitors bureau tweeted, “Reserve your rooms now to come check out the massive Nebraska Furniture Mart of Texas.” Residents there called the store a “star” and a “gem” for their city, which is evolving from a small bedroom community to a commercial center.

The store and the larger Grandscape development that the Omaha company is building around it are getting in on the ground floor of a boom in jobs and housing, said Ted Wilson of Texas market research firm Residential Strategies.

Next to Grandscape, Toyota, Liberty Mutual and FedEx Office are building new corporate campuses, bringing almost 12,000 new jobs. A few miles away, the Dallas Cowboys are building a new headquarters and practice facility as part of a larger mixed-use development.

All those workers have to live somewhere, and have to furnish those new homes.

There is a shortage of existing homes, Wilson said, spurring new home construction. More than 11,550 homes were under construction in the Dallas-Fort Worth area this spring, and more than 34,000 apartment units. The Mart should be running at full speed by the time those homes are ready to be furnished.

“They’re catching it on the upswing,” Wilson said.

Certainly, competitors are hoping for their piece of the action. Across the street, Florida-based Rooms To Go opened a 52,000-square-foot “flagship” store on April 3, with “grand opening” in big letters in the windows.

Around lunchtime Thursday, when several hundred cars were in the Nebraska Furniture Mart parking lot, about two dozen cars were in the Rooms To Go lot, and few customers were inside. A salesman described business as “fair” given that it had not had a grand opening event. Just east of the Mart, a store called Texas Leather Interiors is under construction. The Dallas Morning News reported that some other furniture stores in the region have recently renovated and expanded to better meet the competition.

Ikea is a draw, just east of Grandscape in Frisco, said Brandon and Iris Canal, both 20, shopping with their 11-month-old son for a TV stand.

“We’re here comparing it to Ikea,” Iris Canal said outside the Mart Tuesday evening. “This looks fancier. It looks cooler.”

(Video) A peek inside Nebraska Furniture Mart Texas

PHOTO GALLERY: A tour of Nebraska Furniture Mart-Texas

The store “raises the bar” for the furniture industry,” said Scott Coor, owner of Arizona bed maker Trendwood, which has been selling to the Furniture Mart for 20 years. Sales are growing, but consumers view the industry as staid and conservative. This store, “it’s exciting, it’s fresh, it’s new,” Coor said.

With all the incoming residents, the Furniture Mart pitches its products as a way for customers to make their homemaking dreams come true. Inside its entryway, four sayings highlight a curved wall under the domed skylight: “Create a Happy Home.” “Explore Your Life’s Style.” “Imagine the Possibilities.” “A Dream You Can Own.”

One couple came in to do just that, after picking up a marriage license that morning.

Michelle Black, 35, a Geico claims supervisor, said she is in love with Bal Barraza, 43, an electric utility research analyst. But she is not in love with his furniture. She wants new things when she moves into his apartment.

“It’s man-decorated,” she said.

Some 97percent of the goods are the same items available in Omaha. But there are prominent nods to the Texas audience. A “pop-up” gallery just past the front door has décor for a cattle ranch: ornate wooden and leather chairs, lone-star pillows, a mounted bison head and mounted longhorns.

Another difference: Digital maps and displays throughout the store allow customers to browse more goods or find a restroom. The screens also tell the story of the retailer’s Omaha origins, including a photo of “Mrs. B” on her scooter. Customers overwhelmed by shopping can settle into a chair and watch television in a “decompression zone.”

Husker red was nowhere to be found, but there are clusters of collegiate goods for every major Texas school, appealing to Longhorns, Aggies, Horned Frogs and Red Raiders.

The “Nebraska” name doesn’t seem to be a problem for shoppers. Company executives had initially wondered if it would confuse or put off Texans.

Where people in Omaha might say they’re going to “the Furniture Mart,” several people interviewed referred to the store simply as “Nebraska.” Tabatha Thompson said that for her, the out-of-town name implied, “Oh, a new idea, something different.”

The store is also trying to cater to Dallas’ bigger market for luxury goods. Its custom design gallery, which in Omaha is tucked in the back of the store, has a prime location at the front of the second story here, with 20 interior designers.

High-end appliances are displayed by brand in their own rooms: Viking’s includes a combination gas and electric range for $11,049, and KitchenAid arranged 32 candy-colored mixers in a floor-to-ceiling showcase.

Electronics salesman Marcellus Perkins has found that he doesn’t need to explain the receivers and speakers that are part of Dolby’s new high-end Atmos sound system. He said customers in Dallas are more “sophisticated” about the latest products than shoppers in Kansas City, where he transferred from.

“We have an amazing amount of customers that say, ‘I just moved into a new home, I have a media room and I just got it pre-wired for Dolby Atmos.’ I’m like, ‘Yes!’ ”

Many of the incoming residents are young families upsizing into larger homes because they can get more square feet for their money than they can closer to downtown Dallas, said Trista Perot, a marketing consultant and resident of The Colony. Her family built a new home there in 2013, and she still needs patio furniture and media room furniture.

“I hear a lot of my friends saying, ‘We still have two empty rooms. We have to figure out what to get.’ ”

Her family shopped at the Mart in March, spending two hours there before they had to leave for a previous commitment.

They got home that afternoon, and something happened that Mart executives would hope every shopper experiences.

“We went home and kind of looked at each other and said, ‘Let’s go back.’ ”

Contact the writer:402-444-1336, barbara.soderlin@owh.com

(Video) Wonder World in Texas | Nebraska Furniture Mart | North America's largest furniture store

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Video: Sights and sounds of the new store

Video: A virtual tour through the aisles

MORE NFM-TEXAS COVERAGE:

From the archives: 76 facts about Nebraska Furniture Mart

From the archives: Furniture Mart opens to crowds in Kansas

From the archives: Years of ideas put to use in Kansas City Mart

Photo gallery: An interior, exterior tour of Nebraska Furniture Mart-Texas

Grandscape development anchored by NFM-Texas is slow, steady and deliberate

Warren Buffett, strumming his ukulele, is star attraction at Nebraska Furniture Mart’s charity gala in Texas

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FAQs

Which Nebraska Furniture Mart is bigger? ›

The Colony location is the largest of the four locations, boasting 560,000 square feet (52,000 m2) of retail space and 1,300,000 square feet (120,000 m2) of warehouse/distribution space.

Is Ikea or Nebraska Furniture Mart bigger? ›

Nebraska Furniture Mart boasts its Dallas-Fort Worth location as the largest home furnishing store in the country. However, with only four showrooms plus one outlet dotted across the Midwest and Texas, the brand has a much smaller reach than IKEA.

Who is Nebraska Furniture Mart owned by? ›

A simple handshake between legendary investor Warren Buffett and Rose Blumkin seals a $60 million deal that adds NFM to the Berkshire Hathaway fold.

How much did Warren Buffett buy Nebraska Furniture Mart for? ›

Warren Buffett said an 89-year-old carpet saleswoman would "run rings around" the best corporate executives and business-school graduates in America. Berkshire Hathaway's billionaire boss praised Rose "Mrs B" Blumkin after he bought her company, Nebraska Furniture Mart, for about $55 million in 1983.

What is the biggest store in Texas? ›

LULING, Texas — (CultureMap Austin) The saga of the world's biggest convenience store rolls on. For now, the largest convenience store in the world is the Buc-ee's location in New Braunfels, measuring a little over 66,000 square feet.

What is the biggest furniture store in USA? ›

Welcome to Furnitureland South, the World's Largest Furniture Store. You'll find hundreds of reputable brands and 1.3 million square feet of quality home furnishings and stunning displays in our North Carolina furniture store.

What is the world's largest furniture outlet? ›

Furnitureland South, located in Jamestown, is the largest furniture store in the world. The store features 1.3 million square feet of furniture and home decor. Even if you're not in the market for furniture, you're sure to be awestruck by the sheer selection of unique furniture found in one place.

Can I use my Nebraska Furniture Mart card anywhere? ›

You may use your card at all Homemakers Furniture and Nebraska Furniture Mart stores. Your payment due date is at least 21 days after the close of each billing cycle. We will not charge you interest on purchases if you pay your entire balance by the due date each month.

Does Warren Buffet own Nebraska Furniture Mart? ›

To navigate, press the arrow keys. There are three other Nebraska Furniture Mart stores, but the new store in The Colony is the largest. Owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the $400 million store has two levels and 560,000 square feet of space, or about the size of nine football fields.

Why did Nebraska Furniture Mart change their name? ›

It's not an official name change, just a logo update, Nebraska Furniture Mart spokesman Andy Shefsky said. “We sell a lot more than just furniture, and we're in a lot more than just Nebraska,” he said. “It's simply modernizing, reflective of who we are as a company, but not forgetting that Nebraska is our everything.”

What furniture store did Warren Buffett buy? ›

Buffett's Hometown Buyout: On his 53rd birthday, Warren Buffett acquired an 80% ownership stake in Nebraska Furniture Mart in a handshake deal with 89-year-old founder Rose Blumkin.

Where was the original Nebraska Furniture Mart? ›

But Blumkin took a modest investment “and turned it into the largest home furnishings store” in the country, he added. Blumkin, known as “Mrs. B.,” was in her mid-40s when started Nebraska Furniture Mart in the basement of her husband's shop in downtown Omaha in 1937 with $500.

Is Rose Blumkin alive? ›

Does Warren Buffet own Nebraska furniture? ›

Founded in 1937 by Russian immigrant Rose Blumkin in Omaha, Nebraska, the company gradually grew from its original footprint to a store of giant proportions—more than 450,000 square feet at last count. The retailer eventually caught the eye of Omaha neighbor Warren Buffett, who bought the store from Mrs.

Who is the CEO of Nebraska Furniture Mart? ›

Who owns Buc ee's in Texas? ›

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Buc-ee's founder, Arch “Beaver” Aplin III, has decided to give back to his alma mater in a major way. The gas station extraordinaire has gifted Texas A&M University with $50 million to build a hospitality entrepreneurship program that will serve as an immersive learning laboratory for students.

How many Bucees are there in Texas? ›

There are 34 Buc-ee's in Texas.

Where is the world's largest gas station? ›

Well if you live in New Braunfels, Texas, that ain't your problem. Buc-ee's houses 120 gas pumps and 1,000 parking spaces for its customers. Jerry, the car ownership super app, gives you the lowdown on the world's largest gas station, located in Texas.

What is the number one brand of furniture? ›

The Best Furniture Brands – Ranking 20 More Furniture Brands in the Rise in 2020
RankingFurniture Brand
1Bernhardt
2Baker
3Stickley
4Drexel
16 more rows
4 Mar 2022

Who is the leading furniture company? ›

The largest furniture company in the U.S. is Berkshire Hathaway, with a revenue of $276.094 billion.

Where is the furniture capital of the world? ›

High Point, North Carolina— NC Furniture Advisor. High Point is known as the Furniture Capital of the World. This North Carolina town is home to many US and international furniture manufacturers. The High Point Furniture Market occurs twice a year, and attracts 160,000 people to the city.

Is furniture still made in North Carolina? ›

Just about anything you might want to purchase can be made right here in the state of North Carolina. That includes furniture. It doesn't matter if you want a piece of fine leather furniture, a wood dining room table, or a fabric sectional, if you want it you can buy a state made piece of furniture.

Why is NC Known for furniture? ›

North Carolina, particularly the town of High Point, became the Furniture Capital of the World nearly 100 years ago. In the late 1800s, North Carolina's furniture industry was already successful. The reason for this is because of the abundant timber and ease of transport via the Southern Railway.

Is Turkish furniture good quality? ›

To summarize it all, Turkish furniture is a great choice for those who want something that is both unique and high-quality. It is known for its high-quality craftsmanship, which results in pieces that are both beautiful and durable.

Does NFM give discounts? ›

Yes, Nebraska Furniture Mart offers a Military Discount. There is a certain pricing level for the Military Discount, and is not a set percentage off. Please bring your Military ID with you to show to the Sales Associate or Cashier.

Can I take my dog to Nebraska Furniture Mart? ›

Nebraska Furniture Mart Pet Friendly Workplace

Customers can bring in as many pets as they want.

Does Nebraska Furniture Mart drug test Reddit? ›

Yes, Nebraska Furniture Mart does drug test prospective employees before hiring.

How many acres is Nebraska Furniture Mart? ›

Located in the new 433-acre Grandscape mixed-use development in The Colony, Texas, the two-level store has a whopping 560,000 sq, ft.

How much money Warren Buffett have? ›

Does Nebraska Furniture Mart have shopping carts? ›

Grab a shopping cart at the front of the store if you're in the market for accessories, kitchen appliances and electronics.

When did NFM open in Texas? ›

"What really excited us about coming to Texas was how great the economy is here and how great the culture of people is here," said Store Director Ed Lipsett. The store had a "soft opening" back on March 4.

Is NFM the same as Nebraska Furniture Mart? ›

Nebraska Furniture Mart Specifics

Nebraska Furniture Mart (or NFM) was founded in Omaha in 1937 by the late Mrs. B. Sold to Berkshire Hathaway in 1983, Nebraska Furniture Mart remains one of the largest home furnishing stores in the Midwest and is widely known for their enormous selection of items.

How long has Nebraska Furniture Mart been open? ›

How many locations does Nebraska Furniture Mart have? ›

NFM now has four stores, located in Omaha, Nebraska, Kansas City, Kansas, Des Moines, Iowa and The Colony, Texas.

What does Warren Buffett Own? ›

Top stocks that Warren Buffett owns by size
STOCKNUMBER OF SHARES OWNEDVALUE OF STAKE
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)907,559,761$153.5 billion
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)1,010,100,606$35.8 billion
Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO)400,000,000$26.1 billion
Chevron (NYSE:CVX)161,890,149$25.5 billion
6 more rows

Where is Warren Buffets house? ›

Many of the assets of Buffett Associates merged into Berkshire Hathaway, according to the Journal. The Buffetts lived in the Underwood Avenue home for two years, before paying $31,500 for a different home in Omaha, where Buffett still lives.

How was Nebraska settled? ›

French and Spanish fur traders came to Nebraska in the 1700s. One company built a large fort and trading post in Thurston County in 1795. This fort, called Fort Charles in honor of the king of Spain, was the first European settlement in Nebraska.

How many locations does Nebraska Furniture Mart have? ›

NFM now has four stores, located in Omaha, Nebraska, Kansas City, Kansas, Des Moines, Iowa and The Colony, Texas.

Does Warren Buffett still own Nebraska Furniture Mart? ›

To navigate, press the arrow keys. There are three other Nebraska Furniture Mart stores, but the new store in The Colony is the largest. Owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the $400 million store has two levels and 560,000 square feet of space, or about the size of nine football fields.

Why did Nebraska Furniture Mart change their name? ›

It's not an official name change, just a logo update, Nebraska Furniture Mart spokesman Andy Shefsky said. “We sell a lot more than just furniture, and we're in a lot more than just Nebraska,” he said. “It's simply modernizing, reflective of who we are as a company, but not forgetting that Nebraska is our everything.”

Can I use my Nebraska Furniture Mart card anywhere? ›

You may use your card at all Homemakers Furniture and Nebraska Furniture Mart stores. Your payment due date is at least 21 days after the close of each billing cycle. We will not charge you interest on purchases if you pay your entire balance by the due date each month.

When did NFM open in Texas? ›

"What really excited us about coming to Texas was how great the economy is here and how great the culture of people is here," said Store Director Ed Lipsett. The store had a "soft opening" back on March 4.

Is Rose Blumkin alive? ›

How much does Nebraska Furniture Mart sell a year? ›

Total sales in the first full year ended up being about $750 million, which is still enormous and puts The Colony performance right up there with just a handful of single U.S. stores.

What furniture store did Warren Buffett buy? ›

Buffett's Hometown Buyout: On his 53rd birthday, Warren Buffett acquired an 80% ownership stake in Nebraska Furniture Mart in a handshake deal with 89-year-old founder Rose Blumkin.

Where was the original Nebraska Furniture Mart? ›

But Blumkin took a modest investment “and turned it into the largest home furnishings store” in the country, he added. Blumkin, known as “Mrs. B.,” was in her mid-40s when started Nebraska Furniture Mart in the basement of her husband's shop in downtown Omaha in 1937 with $500.

Is Nebraska Furniture Mart pet friendly? ›

Nebraska Furniture Mart Pet Friendly Workplace

Customers can bring in as many pets as they want.

Is NFM the same as Nebraska Furniture Mart? ›

Nebraska Furniture Mart Specifics

Nebraska Furniture Mart (or NFM) was founded in Omaha in 1937 by the late Mrs. B. Sold to Berkshire Hathaway in 1983, Nebraska Furniture Mart remains one of the largest home furnishing stores in the Midwest and is widely known for their enormous selection of items.

How long has Nebraska Furniture Mart been open? ›

Who is the CEO of Nebraska Furniture Mart? ›

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