Last week, Nebraska Furniture Mart opened up a 712,000 square foot store in scruffy Kansas City, Kansas.
Yes. Seven hundred and twelve thousand. That's about 70,000 square meters for our friends in civilized countries that use the metric system. Take one of the rare Ikea stores in the US. Triple the size. That's Nebraska Furniture Mart. It's located next to a 200,000 square foot Cabela's store. (For those outside the US, Cabela's is a hunting, fishing and camping supply company known for their mail order catalog.)
Today, I bought a couple of Arts and Crafts-style solid oak desks for the home office from NFM. The price can't be beat; US$150 each. On other items in the store, prices are very competitive with other big boxen in the Kansas City area. Product quality is high, too. The place was packed, and people were buying; they weren't just gawking at the sight of the behemoth.
I'm curious whether we've seen the last of supersizing big box stores or not. After seeing NFM, my opinion is no. In the near future, will Wal-Mart abandon their aircraft hangar-sized, 200,000 square foot Super Centers like they fled from the 100,000 square foot Discount City format stores, and move into even bigger buildings?