Jay Buchanan

Editor in chief of Dealerscope

Figuring out how to be a big retailer while maintaining the personal values that matter most to consumers is always difficult. There is a long list of stores that have tried but failed, but Jay Buchanan has managed to strike that balance at Nebraska Furniture Mart.

Back in 2007, in the early days of the recession, Nebraska Furniture Mart (NFM) executives, especially those connected to the company's electronics division, began planning for the future. They knew customers would become even more discerning, choosing the retail outlets that offered them the most value, the best product selection, the highest degree of customer service and an unparalleled shopping experience.

When Rose Blumkin opened the Nebraska Furniture Mart in 1937, she had little idea it would evolve into one of the greatest stories of midwest retailing. Mrs. Blumkin, just now retired at age 104, must look around the 72-acre campus that makes up the Furniture Mart--Mrs. B's Basement and Mega Mart, the electronics superstore that opened on the site in November, 1994--and marvel at how things have evolved. Owned by Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway investment corporation since 1983, but still run by the Blumkins, including son Louie, and grandsons Irv, Ron and Steve, Nebraska Furniture Mart is nothing short of a midwest phenomena. Walking

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