Column by J1 Report Christina Tinley
Blue. Yellow. Maybe not the best color combo, but the place those colors represent is the happiest place on earth in my eyes (and, no, I’m not talking about Disneyland).
Living in Nebraska, I get my need for furniture fulfilled at Warren Buffett’s Nebraska Furniture Mart (NFM). I remember many times during my childhood where my parents and I waltzed through the various sections of NFM laughing at all the wacky furniture we found and occasionally finding the thing we actually came for. I recall going to NFM when every 8-year-old girl including myself had a weird obsession with peace signs and begging my parents to buy a lava lamp for my bedroom. I remember the countless times I was dragged there to look at two sofas that looked exactly the same when my parents were building their house. Obviously, I’d spent enough time in NFM to fully understand that it was preferable to any other furniture store in the Nebraska.
At a soccer tournament in Kansas City, I never expected to come across heaven on earth, but there I was, standing at the doors of my soon-to-be favorite place in the world. As I walked through a maze of shelves filled with boxes of furniture and passed by models of kitchens and bedrooms, I realized that IKEA was where I belonged.
Yellow and blue striped polos should have made me cringe at the idea of working there, yet I fantasized about being granted the right to brag about working at IKEA. Suddenly, my dream job vanished right before my eyes as I realized there was one problem: Omaha has no IKEA! Nebraska has no IKEA!
With NFM being so dear to most native Nebraskans’ hearts, no other furniture store has a chance in Omaha. The monopoly NFM holds over Nebraska’s furniture market needs to come to end. Does NFM sell Swedish meatballs and sweets? Does NFM arrange their store in a zigzag path, so you see each masterfully crafted piece of furniture? I think not.
I say IKEA with its cheap, but sleek and modern, furniture deserves to be at the top of the furniture company food chain in Omaha. NFM lacks the fine, sophisticated nature of every IKEA store. See’s Candies does not even compare to the European chocolates displayed at the IKEA cash register. NFM’s Subway doesn’t even compare to IKEA’s Swedish-themed restaurant.
I beg IKEA to challenge NFM’s monopolistic rule over the Nebraska furniture market. I just desperately need the far superior, IKEA, to finally build a store in Omaha.