> Two years later, "Mrs. B’s Clearance and Factory Outlet" was profitable and the third largest carpet outlet in Omaha.
Iirc, it took her six months just to get out of the USSR, across Russia, through China, then went on a cargo ship. It also covers how she got started which is just as interesting (she got sued for selling too cheap, she can't read, she can't write, etc.).
The stores are also unbelievably large. They seem to be 25-50% bigger than Ikea stores, which is incredible. Only in America (and possibly China in 2030).
Yes, you drive through it in your car and look at housing doors of all types.
"Omaha retailers began to recognize that Mrs. B would offer customers far better deals than they had been giving, and they pressured furniture and carpet manufacturers not to sell to her. But by various strategies she obtained merchandise and cut prices sharply. Mrs. B was then hauled into court for violation of Fair Trade laws. She not only won all the cases, but received invaluable publicity. At the end of one case, after demonstrating to the court that she could profitably sell carpet at a huge discount from the prevailing price, she sold the judge $1400 worth of carpet."
I moved from Omaha to the Denver/Boulder area two years ago and besides the Henry Doorly Zoo, I miss Nebraska Furniture Mart the most.
NFM is a great place to buy pretty much anything you want to put in your house. Mrs. B really knew how to make a business work. The only weird thing is how antiquated their computer systems are, it's amazing they are so profitable with 70's era technology running the business.
Without knowing any details, I would say that there are people who would argue that this attitude may be one of the reasons they are profitable. Why change a perfectly working system your customer does have no direct interaction with?
Because you can't buy replacement parts when something breaks?
Why change stuff that survived?
I live near and have shopped at the largest of their locations many times and all of their associates carry tablets to close sales right there on the floor. Hardly 70s technology (though the UI they use isn't modern necessarily). Their online presence isn't anything scoff at either.
That's what I always think whenever I'm in a Starbucks and see the drive-through orders appearing on an IBM PC-era 80x25 text display. But hey, if it works, and if it's reliable, and if it doesn't have to talk to too many other systems, why not?
Now, in addition to Jake's American Furniture Warehouse, there's the whole Furniture Row business holding the territory. Now IKEA is trying to find a way in.
Whole books have been written about the Furniture Wars! It's kind of crazy.
They have moved to a new location in Clive or Urbandale. I haven't stopped in, but it feels like the parking lot is never too full.
Also, it's readily displayed what is made in the US which I always choose when possible. The salespeople are very friendly and they get a commission so it's good to support the community.
Linux is under no obligation to follow the (absurd) policies of USB-IF, so they basically have to maintain their own parallel list.
> She bitterly ''retired'' in 1989 at the age of 95, but after three months returned with characteristic combativeness, setting up a rival store called Mrs. B's Clearance and Factory Outlet across the street from the Furniture Mart.
my understanding from primary sources is she started the second to carry on her ideals when the original iced her out
>[To Warren Buffett when she had lined up a group of her grandsons and sons-in-law and nephews against a wall and was lecturing them.] See all these guys next to me? If I sell it to you, you can fire them. These people are a bunch of bums, and they are all related to me and I can’t fire them. But you can fire them. They’re bums, bums, bums. [‘She went on like this for an hour, literally. The word ‘bums’ recurred many, many times. Then she dismissed me. I had served my purpose.’ – ###Warren Buffett
The other quotes are quite an interesting read also.
Someone dialed up the weights on HN comments way past where IMO a potentially throwaway remark should be scored.
And I say this as someone who tries to make substantive and significant HN posts on the regular.
Testing Mattresses with Warren Buffett
> NFM and Borsheim's follow precisely the same formula for
success: (1) unparalleled depth and breadth of merchandise at one
location; (2) the lowest operating costs in the business; (3) the
shrewdest of buying, made possible in part by the huge volumes
purchased; (4) gross margins, and therefore prices, far below
competitors'; and (5) friendly personalized service with family
members on hand at all times.
the rest of that is a good read. (http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/letters/1989.html)
We purchased couches and a desk chair from them. There tends to be three grades: entry, mid, affluent. Their entry are 2X Ikea and maybe 3X the quality of most of what I've seen from Ikea. Mid prices tend to be better than smaller furniture stores, and I can't really comment on affluent.
Hacker News is specifically _not_ a pure tech forum. Graciously, please don't force people to conform to what you wish it to be.
On-Topic: Anything that good hackers would find interesting. That includes more than hacking and startups. If you had to reduce it to a sentence, the answer might be: anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity.
Off-Topic: Most stories about politics, or crime, or sports, unless they're evidence of some interesting new phenomenon. Videos of pratfalls or disasters, or cute animal pictures. If they'd cover it on TV news, it's probably off-topic.
clearly HN does not follow nor enforce these rules, so why pretend when pick-and-choose anyways? And why lecture people on what is "on topic" when objectively "off topic" stuff makes it to the front page all the time?