This list originally was published in The World-Herald on Aug. 16, 2012.

> The founder of Nebraska Furniture Mart is the late Rose Blumkin, also known as Mrs. B.

> The store counts 40,890 items in stock, with 263,388 available by special order.

> In 1937, Mrs. B used $500 to start Nebraska Furniture Mart in the basement of her husband’s downtown Omaha shop.

> The average monthly electrical bill per store is close to $100,000, and not all areas are air-conditioned.

> Rose Blumkin raised four children in addition to building a national reputation as a retailer.

> The Omaha and Kansas City, Kansas, stores each average more than 1,000 deliveries a day.

> Mrs. B celebrated her 100th birthday at the store, her favorite place to be.

> During one tough time, Mrs. B sold all the furniture and appliances in her own home to pay suppliers.

> Today’s most expensive items for sale? Electronics: 90” Sharp TV at $9,999.99. Appliances: Hybrid built-in grill at $16,995. Furniture: Freemark table with two chairs and six side chairs for $16,999.99. Flooring: Hand-knotted 8-by-10-foot Amici rug for $11,000.

> A family rift caused Mrs. B to retire for three months at age 95, then open a competing factory outlet business next door. After a reconciliation, it became part of the Mart.

> Mrs. B’s belief in selling at tiny margins once prompted local competitors to urge a manufacturers boycott. So, traveling by train to Kansas City, Chicago and New York, she bought from large furniture stores at 5 percent over their cost and still made a profit.

> Rose Blumkin worked 60 hours a week most of her career.

> The furniture stores are open 74 hours a week.

> Son Louie Blumkin and sons-in-law Norman Batt and Jerry Cohn joined the business after World War II.

> The third generation of Mrs. B’s family — grandsons Irv Blumkin, Ron Blumkin and Bob Batt — joined the business in the early 1970s. They still hold executive positions.

> After both of her knees were replaced, Mrs. B used a motorized cart to navigate the store.

> The Mart didn’t close for Mrs. B’s funeral because relatives didn’t think she would want that.

> NFM trucks deliver to more than 2,500 cities in five states.

> Electronics and appliances were added to the furniture store’s inventory in the 1950s.

> The most popular electronics items sold today are tablets, specifically the iPad.

> In June 1970, the company opened a store on South 72nd Street.

> In 1975, an F4 tornado wiped out the 72nd Street store. Mrs. B and son Louie Blumkin rebuilt bigger and better.

> In 1980, the downtown store closed, leaving only the 72nd Street store.

> More than 200 of the NFM staff members have been there for more than 20 years. The longest-tenured currently? Forty-six years.

> Mrs. B sold her interest in the company to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. in a $60 million deal in 1983.

> Berkshire Hathaway Inc. owns 80 percent of NFM.

> The Mart averages more than 2.5 million transactions a year.

> The late Mrs. B sold her interest when she was 89 but worked selling carpet until she was 103.

> The Omaha store’s campus covers more than 77 acres.

> The company first expanded outside of Nebraska in 1993 with a Des Moines store.

> The Omaha NFM is in the process of replacing its in-store Burger King restaurant with a Subway, a move to offer customers healthier options.

> The Mart has an estimated 2,800 employees in Omaha and Kansas City, with more than 1,600 in Omaha. Staff members range from 16 to 83 years old.

> A 90-year-old furniture salesman, Jack Diamond, retired in July after a 58-year career at the Mart.

> Thanks to exposure from Berkshire Hathaway, the Mart has customers from Italy, France, Saudi Arabia and Greece.

> The Mega Mart, added to house electronics and appliances in 1994, now features stores-within-a-store for Apple, Sony and Bose products.

> Nebraska’s leading furniture retailer became Iowa’s, too, when NFM bought Homemakers Furniture in Des Moines in 2001.

> In 2001, an Omaha warehouse and distribution center opened along with an updated Mrs. B’s Clearance Center and Factory Outlet Store.

> A third store with more than 1 million square feet of retail and distribution space opened in Kansas City, Kan., in 2003.

> The Kansas City store is part of a development that includes another Nebraska-based business, Cabela’s.

> Mrs. B always said her philosophy was to “sell cheap and tell the truth.”

> In the Kansas City area, the furniture store spurred other development including at least eight hotels, a casino, the Kansas Speedway, other major retailers, car dealerships and a water park. launched in 1998 and, beginning in 2006, allowed customers to shop and pay bills online.

> The Omaha appliance and electronics store got a makeover in 2007.

> More renovations for the Kansas City and Omaha stores were completed in 2010.

> The Mart recently implemented a buyback program for used, working electronics.

> Louis Blumkin, who helped liberate Dachau and other Nazi camps as a U.S. soldier, combined with Sam Fried of Omaha, a survivor of Auschwitz, their wives and the University of Nebraska at Omaha last year to establish the Blumkin Professorship of Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

> On busy shopping days, employees park off campus and are shuttled in, freeing up the Omaha store’s 1,800 parking spaces.

> The Furniture Mart plans to build a $1.5 billion, 433-acre development in suburban Dallas anchored by its newest, largest retail store.

> The company’s next store is set to open in the spring of 2015 in Dallas-Fort Worth.

> More than 4,000 shoppers have been known to line up in the wee hours to nab Black Friday deals.

> All employees are required to work on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that the Mart calls “Green Friday.”

> Store buyers start looking for Black Friday deals in April.

> China is the Mart’s largest importer.

> Nebraska Furniture Mart sold $35 million worth of goods during the week of the 2012 Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, about 10 percent more than last year.

> Nebraska Furniture Mart is the country’s largest single home furnishings store selling furniture, flooring, appliances and electronics.

> The Furniture Mart will ship coast to coast by special arrangement and has shipped furniture across oceans and in private cargo planes.

> Merchandisers and buyers regularly look over competitors’ ads to make sure Mart prices are lower.

> Last year, NFM had 1.9 million visitors to the store, making it one of Nebraska’s top tourist attractions.

> The new Dallas-area project in The Colony will include 1.2 million square feet of warehouse space.

> The Texas store’s retail space, at 546,000 square feet, will be 9 percent larger than Omaha’s.

> The Texas warehouse will be twice as large as Omaha’s.

> Everyone who works in the warehouses has to do stretching exercises each morning to prevent injury.

> The Mart has a “playbook, ” a binder that details for employees what happens during big shopping events.

> The Mart has purchased a two-story building at 808 S. 74th Plaza to renovate for its new corporate headquarters.

> The Furniture Mart will spend $7.4 million on a renovation for a new corporate office to be completed next summer in Omaha.

> At least 176 new employees will be hired over the next three years for a new headquarters.

> To combat shoplifting, the Mart has camera systems, security staffers and its own fraud investigators.

> Three of Mrs. B’s great-grandchildren now are the fourth generation to work at the store.

> The Rose children’s theater is officially the Rose Blumkin Performing Arts Center.

> Rose Blumkin gave $1 million to build the nursing home that bears her name next to the Jewish Community Center, 333 S. 132nd St.

> The company was offered “huge incentives” to move its headquarters to the Dallas area.

> To combat shoplifting, the Mart has camera systems, security staffers and its own fraud investigators.

> The Blumkins and Warren Buffett each donated $1 million and Susan Buffett led a $9 million fund drive for renovations to the Rose.

> Louis Blumkin gets credit for seeing the company through natural disasters, such as the floods of 1953, a huge fire in 1961 and the 1975 tornado.

> Louis Blumkin joined his mother in the American Furniture Hall of Fame in 2000, winning praise for innovating in-store manufacturers’ galleries.

> The Nebraska Furniture Mart’s estimated sales total this year is more than $800 million for all stores. 

— Compiled by Leia Mendoza

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