Girl power, indeed. The legendary Nebraska Furniture Mart got its start in 1937 when Russian immigrant Rose Blumkin ("Mrs. B") began selling furniture at a slight markup from a shop basement. Her motto: "Sell cheap and tell the truth!" The famed 450,000-sq.-ft. Omaha location (called the Mart) was built in 1968 and rebuilt by Mrs. B and her son in 1975 after a tornado hit. Two decades later, an electronics and appliance store was added in Omaha; the 77-acre location boasts some 500,000 sq. ft. of retail space. The firm also operates stores in Des Moines, Iowa, and Kansas City, Missouri. Omaha investor and favorite son Warren Buffett (owner of Berkshire Hathaway) owns a majority stake in Nebraska Furniture Mart.
Nebraska Furniture Mart (NFM) operates retail complexes in Omaha and Kansas City, Kansas. It also owns Homemakers Furniture in Des Moines, Iowa. It delivers its products to 47 US states.
The company operates its business from three very large retail complexes with almost 2.8 million square feet of retail space, and a sizable warehouse.
Sales and Marketing
NFM sells products from more than 5,000 vendors.
While conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway doesn't disclose financial information for its individual businesses, revenues and earnings from its retail segment (which includes four home furnishings chains and three jewelry businesses, among other retail operations) are on the rise. NFM is part of the Service & Retailing segment of the parent company, which contributed 11% of the parent's total revenues in 2015.
NFM is the largest furniture retailer in each of its markets. It expanded in 2015, opening a new retail store, warehouse, and administrative office in a suburb of Dallas.
In recent years NFM has been focused on renovating its stores and upgrading its services, such as offering customers online bill payment. Focusing on its online store, NFM overhauled its website and added functionality to allow its customers to shop online. It has also expanded its Kansas City store to include a warehouse and distribution center, such as that at its Omaha location.
Nebraska Furniture Mart is run by brothers Ron and Irv Blumkin, Mrs. B's grandsons. Mrs. B died in 1998 at the age of 104. She worked at the store until she was 103 years old.
Indeed, in 2013 the company acquired 433 acres to house its retail and distribution hub and a surrounding master-planned retail and entertainment development.