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NFM Debuts New Kansas City CE Department

2/17/2010 01:00:00 PM Eastern

Kansas City, Kan. - Nebraska
Furniture Mart (NFM) will take the wraps off its newly remodeled electronics
department at the company's Kansas City store here Thursday afternoon.

The completely redesigned department
now features more than 51,000 square feet of showroom space that accommodates more
than 40,000 CE items, including 200 TVs, 100 computers, 200 cameras, 100 mobile
phones, and 20,000 game and software titles.

The department also features five
in-store vendor shops, including an Apple Store, Bose Salon, HP Experience,
Panasonic Technology Zone and Sony Store, and is the only U.S. retail outlet to
do so, the company said.

Also on display are eight HD video
projectors and screens, including Stewart Filmscreen's 2.35:1 CineCurve screen
that's partnered with an HD projector and an anamorphic lens.

"Nebraska Furniture Mart's quest is
to provide its customers with a unique and engaging shopping experience," said
electronics division director Jay Buchanon. He said the state-of-the-art showroom
"symbolizes the creative and collaborative ‘best' from our team," which
includes industry-leading designers, architects, builders and merchants, in
addition to NFM's vendor partners.

Together they have taken a unique "outside-in"
approach to design that "puts the customer in the middle of this experience,"
Buchanon said. "Early customer feedback suggests that our team has exceeded our
renovation goals and has hit this one out of the ballpark."

A ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark
the official grand opening of the showroom will be held Thursday at 4:00 p.m.

The two-story Kansas City store was
opened in 2003 and represents the company's first and only out-of-state foray. The
1.2 million-square-foot retail complex features 450,000 square feet of selling
space and sits on 80 acres.

The CE department reset follows a
two-year, multimillion-dollar expansion
of NFM's 100,000-square-foot appliance, electronics and computer store at its Omaha,
Neb., headquarters that was completed in 2007.

The home-furnishings retailer was
founded in 1937 by Rose Blumkin
in the basement of her husband's jewelry store with a $500 investment. Billionaire
investor Warren Buffett purchased a majority interest in the business in 1983 and
made it part of his Berkshire Hathaway holding company.

In her later years, the diminutive "Mrs. B" would famously zip
around the NFM complex in a golf cart. She reluctantly retired in 1989 at the
age of 95 - only to open a rival store, Mrs. B's Clearance and Factory Outlet,
across the street. She passed away in 1998 at the age of 104.

Today the operation
is run by Blumkin's grandsons Irv (CEO) and Ron (president), who continue to
follow Rose's retail philosophy of "Sell cheap, tell the truth, don't cheat
nobody."

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