Nebraska Furniture Mart: Retail Innovation, Writ Large
It’s no exaggeration to say that Nebraska Furniture Mart (NFM) takes “a long-term approach to its customers, its business partners and suppliers, and its internal team,” as Jody Rusnak, the company’s Appliances & Electronics Director, told Dealerscope. The four-store chain originated in 1937 in Omaha when founder Rose (“Mrs. B.”) Blumkin began the enterprise in the basement of the second-hand clothing shop run by her husband, Isadore.
In 1983, NFM became part of the Berkshire Hathaway portfolio on a handshake between Mrs. B and Warren Buffett. And it has been sailing along ever since, with a 79-year string of achievements as a paragon of retailing excellence.
Its expansion beyond Omaha led the company to enter the Des Moines, Iowa market in 2001, the Kansas City, Kans., market in 2013, and the Dallas, Texas retail arena in the spring of 2015. This latest store addition, an awe-inspiring 560,000-square-foot showroom and a 1.3-million-square-foot distribution center/warehouse in The Colony suburb of Dallas, takes up 100 acres of a 433-acre mixed-use retail development NFM is spearheading called Grandscape, which, when completed, will be what Rusnak characterized as a “destinational area where we are attracting other first-to-market retail, entertainment entities… We have a whole team dedicated to that initiative.”