THE COLONY -- With 560,000 square feet of showroom space divided between two floors, Nebraska Furniture Mart Texas may partially bear the name of another state -- but it's a Texas-sized shopping experience.
"It's exceptional," said shopper Glenn Allen.
The store held its Grand Opening Thursday morning. City and county leaders joined the company's President and COO Ron Blumkin outside the store for a giant ribbon cutting.
The Colony Mayor Joe McCourry said seeing the finished store was the culmination of years of planning to bring more economic development to the area.
"Years ago the council said that this corridor was going to be an entertainment destination and a lot of people laughed at us," said McCourry. "But now though, we stuck to our guns, we followed our intuition and we went after those things that would make it happen."
The new store offers furniture, appliances, electronics and flooring. It could take you three to four hours to walk the entire store. Some experts estimate the retailer will make at least $1 billion in sales the first year.
"What really excited us about coming to Texas was how great the economy is here and how great the culture of people is here," said Store Director Ed Lipsett.
The store had a "soft opening" back on March 4. It's taken two months to get workers, more than 2,000 of them, trained for Thursday's Grand Opening.
"Including and on down to the people who install products for us, to our sales people, to even our delivery services that work for us," said Lipsett.
Workers armed with tablets can ring up customers anywhere. And prices in the morning could differ by the afternoon. Nebraska Furniture Mart Texas uses digital tagging -- scanning prices from other stores and instantly changing prices multiple times a day.
The distribution center is more than a million square feet and it's filled with merchandise ready for pick up or delivery.
"I like it, "Allen said with a huge grin. "This is where you can come and find everything you need in one place."
Lindsey Lessner drove in from McKinney to see the store.
"My mom lives in Fort Worth and she's talked about coming to visit," she said. "And I just think it has a lot to offer that was missing in the DFW market for furniture."
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