Furniture shopping can be an exciting yet daunting experience. With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to decide where to make those big purchases.
Two popular furniture stores, Rooms To Go and Nebraska Furniture Mart, both have their own unique strengths and differences. This article will compare and contrast these two major furniture retailers to help you determine which may be best for your needs.
A Brief Comparison Table
|Rooms To Go
|Nebraska Furniture Mart
|Founded in 1991, headquartered in Florida
|Founded in 1937, headquartered in Nebraska
|Specializes in affordable, stylish furniture
|Specializes in name brand furniture at low prices
|150+ stores across U.S.
|20+ stores across Midwest and Texas
|Focuses on complete room packages
|Massive selection of individual pieces
Both retailers aim to provide quality home furnishings at affordable price points. Rooms To Go concentrates their offerings on whole room sets, while Nebraska Furniture Mart offers a wider selection of mix-and-match individual pieces.
Key Differences Between Rooms To Go And Nebraska Furniture Mart
- Pricing and Affordability
Price and affordability are top priorities for most furniture shoppers.
Both Rooms To Go and Nebraska Furniture Mart focus on deals and pricing as core parts of their business models.
However, there are some key differences in their pricing strategies.
Rooms To Go positions itself in the middle-to-low end of the pricing spectrum. They aim to be attainable for the average furniture buyer, with complete rooms starting at around $1,000. Sales and promotions rotate frequently, marketed as “Low Price Promise” events.
Their business model does not rely heavily on offering the absolute lowest prices. Value is derived from the convenience and style of complete room packages.
On the other hand, Nebraska Furniture Mart hangs its hat on having the lowest prices and will go to great lengths to earn your business on price alone. Their sales staff are empowered to negotiate with customers and price match any competitor.
Large volumes and direct factory ordering allow them to maintain rock-bottom pricing across a vast catalog of brands and styles. Price above all else is the priority.
When it comes to affordability, Nebraska Furniture Mart clearly comes out ahead with their warehouse model passing unbeatable savings to shoppers.
However, Rooms To Go provides reasonable prices on conveniently coordinated room sets. Within their more curated selection, Rooms To Go can compete on style and functionality for the money.
- Selection and Options
Shoppers who value choice and variety tend towards Nebraska Furniture Mart with its overwhelming selection. Rooms To Go takes the opposite approach, limiting options in favor of complete room packages.
With millions of square footage in each store, Nebraska Furniture Mart quite literally has something for everyone. They offer one of the largest assortments of furniture in the world.
Name brands like Ashley Furniture, Serta, and Tempur-Pedic can be found alongside major appliances, electronics, flooring, and home decor. Shopping is flexible – you can buy showroom pieces, order custom configurations, or shop their discount outlet.
Alternatively, Rooms To Go stores only showcase fully styled room vignettes involving living room, bedroom, dining, and home office furniture. Pieces are not sold individually.
Customers can only purchase complete room packages with coordinating items like mattresses, lighting, rugs, and decor. This leads to a much more curated selection designed to achieve a certain look. While limiting, it allows a level of style harmony across all your new furniture.
Nebraska Furniture Mart is the clear winner when it comes to endless choice and flexibility. But Rooms To Go’s selective offerings cater to those wanting simplified, streamlined shopping for instant room transformations.
- Delivery and Setup
Getting that shiny new furniture from the showroom to your home is an important consideration. Nebraska Furniture Mart and Rooms To Go take slightly different approaches when it comes to delivery and setup services.
Nebraska Furniture Mart offers flexible delivery options for a fee. Customers can choose professional delivery to your home starting at $79 for basic setup or $129 for the works including removal of packing materials.
You can also opt for free in-store pickup or borrow one of their trucks free of charge for DIY moving. Either way, some furniture assembly is typically required after delivery.
In contrast, Rooms To Go often includes in-home delivery and professional assembly in their furniture packages for free. Their delivery crew will bring items into your rooms of choice, assemble, arrange, and remove all packaging on qualifying purchases.
Any fees are disclosed upfront on the Room Package price. With few exceptions, setup is handled seamlessly by their delivery team with no extra work required after your items arrive.
For those wanting the absolute easiest transition from showroom to home, Rooms To Go’s bundled free delivery and assembly provides huge convenience. Nebraska Furniture Mart has cheaper basic delivery starting at $79, but pieces may require DIY assembly.
At Nebraska, full-service setup comparable to Rooms To Go runs around $129. For a smooth delivery experience with no hidden fees, Rooms To Go has an edge. But Nebraska gives you more flexibility on delivery options if you don’t mind doing some legwork.
- Interior Design Services
When investing in new furniture, some shoppers want assistance designing a room from scratch.
Both retailers offer complimentary interior design resources, with a few distinctions.
At Nebraska Furniture Mart, you can book a free in-store consultation with an interior design associate.
They can help you style showroom samples, select fabrics and finishes, and coordinate layouts.
For further customization, Nebraska Furniture Mart offers paid interior design services starting at $75/hour. Their team can provide detailed floor plans, drawings, shopping assistance, placement, and more. These extras come at an additional cost.
Rooms To Go has in-house designers who exclusively work on Room Packages to craft their distinctive model room vignettes. Because their focus is complete room bundles, they offer less flexible design services.
However, you can book a free virtual design appointment online to get styling advice for products sold through Rooms To Go. Any customized changes would need to happen directly at the retail locations with the support of sales associates.
When looking for a fully tailored design experience, Nebraska Furniture Mart has broader resources through their customizable design packages and eclectic showrooms.
Rooms To Go’s strength lies in the pre-designed Room Packages curated by their visual merchandising experts – with fewer options for one-off customization.
- Quality and Construction
Furniture needs to stand the test of time through years of use. Both Nebraska Furniture Mart and Rooms To Go aim for quality construction and materials given their price points. However, reviews indicate potential differences in long-term durability.
Nebraska Furniture Mart stocks high quality name brands like Tempur-Pedic and Bernhardt known for excellent craftsmanship. They also have options at lower price tiers, but focus on providing the best within each budget.
Solid wood is prized over particle board and plastics. Detailed product specifications allow you to review materials, joinery methods, cushioning, and padding. With proper care, their furniture is built to last decades.
By contrast, Rooms To Go’s in-house branded furnishings get mixed reviews on durability. As expected given lower price points, their pieces favor particle board, thin padding, and synthetic leather.
Glues and joints tend to wear over time compared to solid wood joinery. The streamlined room packages lack some of the personalization and material quality of true high-end furniture. However, their 5 year warranty does provide some protection.
For well-constructed furniture able to withstand busy households, Nebraska Furniture Mart is likely the safer long-term bet. However, Rooms To Go gives the basic durability expected within its price tier.
- In-Store Experience
The in-store shopping experience makes a big impact when buying furniture. Rooms To Go and Nebraska Furniture Mart employ very different retail environments.
Rooms To Go showrooms are organized by display rooms with coordinating furniture collections tied together in each space. You browse model living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, etc fully decorated as in real homes.
Sales associates can help you customize the displayed packages to your liking. This leads to a showroom floor that is fairly open and easier to navigate. The overall vibe is modern, trendy, and highly stylized.
By contrast, Nebraska Furniture Mart can feel like a maze to navigate. Their enormous stores are jam-packed with a maze of couches, beds, appliances, rugs and more. Items are loosely grouped by category, but there is limited interior decoration.
Given the sheer variety, finding pieces you like requires vigorous browsing. The atmosphere feels more like a warehouse than a showroom. Their strength lies in selection rather than ambiance. The trade-off can be worth it for access to rock-bottom pricing.
In summary, Rooms To Go provides a styled, curated showroom tailored to inspiration and convenience. Nebraska Furniture Mart compensates for a more sea-of-options warehouse vibe with unbeatable prices.
Shoppers valuing a refined retail experience may prefer Rooms To Go, while those wanting the very best deals could overlook Nebraska Furniture Mart’s lack of ambiance.
- Customer Service
The quality of customer service can make or break a furniture purchase spanning weeks or months from purchase to delivery. Both retailers aim to provide knowledgeable support – although Rooms To Go gets slightly higher satisfaction marks from shoppers.
With their emphasis on affordable room packages, Rooms To Go staff are well-equipped to guide you through recommended bundles. Employees can educate you on available configurations, specs, and promotions to simplify purchase decisions.
Delivery and setup are core parts of their business operation, leading to smoother experiences end-to-end. Their smaller showrooms make it easier to find help. However, designer services are still quite limited.
On the other end, Nebraska Furniture Mart’s massive stores mean sales support is not always readily available. Their traditional commission structures can lead to aggressive upselling rather than simply assisting.
Delivery involves more effort coordinating various teams and third-party trucking. Given the caveat emptor model, there is greater impetus on the customer to verify quality and service. Their size does provide advantages in their customer service department’s ability to respond to issues.
For a streamlined process with guided sales assistance, Rooms To Go generally provides a stronger customer experience. But Nebraska Furniture Mart’s breadth of selection and large operation enables them to handle all types of requests.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Some of Nebraska Furniture Mart’s major competitors include: Ashley Furniture, IKEA, Havertys, Raymour & Flanigan, Rooms To Go, Mathis Brothers, Kane’s Furniture, American Signature Furniture, Value City Furniture.
Yes, Nebraska Furniture Mart has a larger store footprint and wider product selection than IKEA. At 560,000 square feet, the Nebraska Furniture Mart location in Omaha, Nebraska is one of the largest home furnishing showrooms in the world. By comparison, even IKEA’s biggest stores top out around 450,000 square feet. Overall, Nebraska Furniture Mart offers one of the biggest inventories of furniture, appliances, flooring, electronics and more.
The largest Nebraska Furniture Mart store is located in Omaha, Nebraska. Spanning 560,000 square feet, this mega showroom first opened in 2003 and draws shoppers from across surrounding states. The Omaha location is among the top tourist attractions in Nebraska and employs over 2,200 people. Other Nebraska Furniture Mart stores can be found in Clive, Iowa and The Colony, Texas. But the flagship Omaha showroom stands as the largest.
No, Homemakers and Nebraska Furniture Mart are separate furniture retailers that operate independently. Homemakers was founded in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 1947. Nebraska Furniture Mart was founded in Omaha, Nebraska in 1937 by Russian immigrant Rose Blumkin. In 1983, investor Warren Buffett purchased a majority stake in NFM and the stores were acquired by Berkshire Hathaway in 2000. Nebraska Furniture Mart remains family-owned by Rose Blumkin’s descendants. Meanwhile, Homemakers has no connection to NFM or Berkshire Hathaway, operating 16 showrooms across 5 Midwest states.
Rooms To Go and Nebraska Furniture Mart both offer quality home furnishings, albeit with very different approaches. Rooms To Go provides affordably priced complete room packages delivered and assembled for you.
Their coordinated showrooms and convenient bundles appeal to shoppers wanting simplified, stylish spaces.
In contrast, Nebraska Furniture Mart is the destination for rock-bottom prices across all categories no matter how eclectic. Enormous selection and warehouses packed with bargains satisfy deal-seekers willing to dig for diamonds in the rough.
Their service offerings are broader but require more work piecing together purchases.
Ultimately, choosing between these two retailers depends on your priorities as a shopper. Those focused on curated looks and simpler buying will likely prefer Rooms To Go.
For extreme value customs and endless options on a budget, Nebraska Furniture Mart delivers go-big-or-go-home furniture shopping. Carefully evaluating your needs against their strengths will lead you to the best furniture store fit.