Dealer Profile: Nebraska Furniture Mart Brings CES to the Consumer

New CE division uses design best practices to increase sales

The plans went through many revisions and included the input from nearly all of the division’s sales associates, Shaw said. Construction began in phases about a year ago. The extra time and thought put into the renovation has paid off.

“There is no other retailer that can match this in terms of service, selection and value,” said Jim Sanduski, Panasonic’s new senior vice president of sales. “The other thing that distinguishes them (NFM) is that they have so many trained sales professionals. To have someone who can demonstrate product is important, especially with 3D coming out. They’re very important to us.”

Here are some design strategies and highlights NFM incorporated into the CE division that other CE retailers could learn from.

– Connectivity. NFM updated its infrastructure to include about 36 miles of Ethernet and other cabling. That’s to ensure accurate and updated marketing messages are sent to the hundreds of flat-panel screens strategically placed around the division and to connect demo computers to the Internet, providing consumers with as much of a live experience as possible.

– Clear sight lines. All shelving and counters are below five feet (most are much lower) to ensure clear sight lines. This gives shoppers an open view of the division’s variety of product offerings and invites them to explore different sections, which include Televisions (11,760 square feet); Wireless and Hand Held (5,200 square feet); Music/Movies (2,600 square feet); Computers, including an HP pavilion (6,500 square feet); a large gaming section; and a thoughtful In-Car System section, which is designed to attract mothers and other demographics outside of the 18- to 24-year-old male the 12-volt market traditionally markets to.

– Wide Aisles. Aisles are wide so shoppers never feel cramped. There is also plenty of open space for special events or specific product and technology demonstrations.