The store delivers purchases within a five state

By: SWSA

The superior service includes a wide delivery area. The store delivers purchases within a five state, 250-square-mile radius, which includes Nebraska and the surrounding states of Missouri, South Dakota, Kansas and Iowa. Decorator services also are offered for customers who aren’t quite sure what they want. “Without the customer, the retailer is nothing,” Batt said. “We realize that, so we do everything we can to make our customer happy.”

Batt said he questions customers about their needs and decorating styles before showing them rugs. “You just can’t assume that Joe in the denim overalls automatically wants low-end polypropylene for the farmhouse, for instance,” he said. “That man in the overalls may walk out with thousands of dollars of Oriental rugs. This isn’t a made-up example: it’s happened many times, and it’s taught us not to assume anything. We ask what the customer wants–color, price point, room placement, size–and we devote ourselves to helping the person find a great rug.”

Batt also believes that consumer education is an important part of the business. He serves as chairman of the National Rug Council, the industry group founded in 1993 by Capel to promote awareness in the area rug industry. The council’s goals are to promote a better image for the area rug industry, to educate retailers and consumers, and to police malpractice in the industry, Batt noted. Batt said he hopes the Council will make consumers realize “that going out of business sales (GOBs) are aimed at defrauding, not helping customers.”

“It’s disgusting what some of these going-out-of-business sales are doing to the rug industry,” Batt said. “When customers get burned by these sales, they then shy away from legitimate retailers. I don’t sit still for it when I hear of one in my area. I call the mayor, the police, everyone–and they go out and shut them down. We need to make retailers and consumers alike more aware of the problem, and retailers need to aggressively work to shut down GOBs. We need to give the rug business established quality standards and business practices, and the National Rug Council will go a long way toward promoting that goal.”

Top suppliers for the store include Capel, Karastan, Nourison and Shaw.

“The Nebraska Furniture Mart is the premier location for area rugs in the heartland of the U.S.,” said Dennis Thiets, Karastan’s vice president of national sales. “The Mart features the entire Karastan assortment–all Karastan rugs in all sizes.

“Their knowledge of the rug business has made them the largest Karastan rug retailer in their area. Starting at the top of the Nebraska Furniture Mart with Bob Batt and running throughout the organization, their professionalism has ensured Karastan’s success at the Mart.”

Forget Me Not, a bedroom ensemble from Fieldcrest Cannon/Monticello, is a three-year-old floral design that continues to increase its sales. Wamsutta’s Tyler Plaid, a two-year-old design, has proven to be a success for the company. Dan River’s best seller in its bedroom ensembles is Botanica, a tapestry floral on a navy background. Additional best selling bedroom ensembles for 1994 are discussed.

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