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Nebraska Furniture Buys Homemakers

OMAHA, NEB. -- Nebraska Furniture Mart will purchase Des Moines, Iowa-based Homemakers Furniture, one of Iowa's largest furniture retailers, as well as Homemakers' subsidiary, Woodmarc, a Winterset, Iowa-based (near Des Moines) furniture manufacturer.

Homemakers operates two Des Moines locations, one a 170,000-square-foot unit, another at 65,000 square feet.

Nebraska Furniture Mart, part of the Berkshire Hathaway Furniture Group owned by investor Warren Buffett, would not disclose the purchase price for the two companies, which had previously been Nebraska Furniture competitors. Des Moines is a two-hour drive from here, and Nebraska Furniture often would pull customers from Homemakers' backyard.

Homemakers does not offer majap or CE products, so it would not be directly competing in these categories with Nebraska Furniture's smaller majap and CE-only retail location in Des Moines. Last January, Nebraska Furniture opened this 40,000-square-foot store, its only other retail unit outside of Omaha.

Woodmarc is not an exclusive brand sold by Homemakers, so its sale would open new markets within the Berkshire Hathaway Furniture Group. The manufacturer, which makes bedroom and home entertainment furniture, will not make any changes in management or operations, according to Nebraska Furniture.