The official agenda for the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting includes electing a board of directors, but the unofficial agenda is shop and shop some more.
Shareholders who flash their credentials will find scores of deals at Berkshire-owned and other retailers. Most of the deals are available through Monday, but Borsheims is extending the discount through May 11.
On the table: deals on electronics, furniture and appliances at Nebraska Furniture Mart; jewelry and artwork, including Dale Chihuly art glass at Borsheims; Brooks running shoes, See's Candies and more. The CenturyLink Center exhibit hall on Saturday also will include 42 vendors.
Both A and B stockholders can take home a shopping bag of goodies, including Warren Buffett-themed items, for a few dollars or a few million dollars.
»Nebraska Furniture Mart is offering shareholders special deals on electronics, appliances and furniture, now through Monday, only at its Omaha store. Shareholder week is the Mart's biggest sales week of the year, company executives say. The biggest sellers? High-end items in every department. During last year's shareholder week, the Mart did nearly $36 million worth of business. Credentialed shareholders can enjoy a $5 pulled pork sandwich and other goodies at the Berkshire Big Time Cookout in a parking lot at the Mart, 700 S. 72nd St., 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.
» Borsheims Fine Jewelry has something for every shareholder, whether they have $10 or 10,000 times that to spend. For about $15, shareholders can pick up a USB port featuring caricatures of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, or they can up the ante and take home a foot-long Swarovski Crystal studded fish for less than $10,000 (ask for the discount price if you're a shareholder). This year, the Berkshire-owned retailer is showcasing a collection of green, pink, yellow and purple diamonds — prices start at about $10,000. Borsheims also will feature sculptures by local artist Matthew Placzek. “It's our Christmas in May,” said Adrienne Fay. Shareholders who show up on Sunday will find Buffett behind the counter at 1 p.m. “Catch him in a moment of weakness and get his 'Crazy Warren' price.”
» See's Candies will be selling half-pound commemorative Berkshire boxes of assorted candy at the meeting for $8. The boxes feature images of Buffett and Mary See. And if you're in the mood for hand-dipped breakfast bon bons, Buffett, who added See's to the portfolio in 1972, is scheduled to dip chocolates before the doors open Saturday at the See's booth.
» Peak Performance Fitness Gear isn't owned by Bershire Hathaway, but today through Sunday, the store at 519 N. 78th St. is offering everyone 20 percent off any Berkshire-owned Brooks or Moving Comfort brand merchandise. If you've been yearning to walk, run or skip a mile in the Oracle of Omaha's shoes, the store has 400 pairs of limited edition “Berkshire Hathaway” PureCadence 2 commemorative running shoes in men's and women's sizes and styles (more than 2,000 produced). And here's the kicker: The insole features a caricature of Buffett in sweats crossing the finish line. The shoes are selling for $110, 10 percent off the regular price. “Most retailers look forward to Christmas,” said Robin Dann, a buyer for Peak Performance. “We look forward to Berkshire week.”
»The Bookworm, the only non-Berkshire-owned retailer exhibiting, is offering shareholders a 20 percent discount on any merchandise in its store at Countryside Village, 8702 Pacific St., from Friday through Monday. At the shareholders meeting, the Bookworm's CenturyLink Center booth will have 500 copies of “Tap Dancing to Work” signed by Warren Buffett and author Carol Loomis for $22.40. Signed copies are first-come, first-served, said Beth Black, the bookstore's co-owner. “It's a fun weekend,” she said. “Starting Friday you see people from all over the world.”
» Fruit of the Loom is selling perky Berky Boxers with an all-over Warren and Charlie print for $5. The limited edition shorts will be sold only at the CenturyLink's Fruit of the Loom store Saturday. Want the world to know your bottoms are by Berkshire? Hang them on the clothesline or wear them out.
Nonshareholders can buy many of the same products at the Mart, Borsheims, Peak Performance, See's and the Bookworm. To view the official Berkshire visitors guide, go to www.berkshirehathaway.com/meet01/VisGuide2013.pdf.
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The discount price of the "Berkshire Hathaway" PureCadence 2 commemorative running shoes sold by Peak Performance Fitness Gear will be $110. A previous version of this story listed a deeper discount. But officials at Brooks Running Shoes decided the discount at the store needed to match the one being offered shareholders at the Saturday meeting.