Homemakers Celebrates 50 Years
Homemakers is excited to celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2024! Through the dedication of our employees and customers, we have accomplished so much and cannot wait to see what the future holds.
In 1974, Carl and Ina Merschman opened our first store in Des Moines, Iowa. Since then our journey has been full of renovations, expansions, and constant changes with our customer experience in mind. Homemakers has truly come a long way and is proud to be a locally founded and family run Iowa business.
Thank you for your support as our business has continued to grow. Make sure to join our events, special promotions and giveaways to celebrate our 50th from June through September 2024!
Homemakers launched a massive showroom flooring project set to be completed by the end of 2022. The project started after many other cosmetic updates to Iowa's largest furniture showroom, including fresh paint, updated graphics and new signage.
The flooring project is the largest transformation the showroom has seen since its grand opening in 2009 in which it is replacing the carpet and existing tile in the 215,000 square foot showroom with new flooring throughout the entire building. 31% of the new flooring is aggregate concrete, and the rest is new plank tile that is both durable and easy to maintain. Not to mention that they also gave our showroom a neutral, clean backdrop to best highlight the product.
Flip the Switch Event
One of Iowa's largest solar panel installations took place right here at Homemakers! With 250,000 square feet of solar panel coverage, we're proud to say that we are able to push forward with creating a more sustainable future for Iowa's environment using clean energy.
While the project took three months to complete, it will generate around 1.33 megawatts of the building's energy, converting over one-third of Homemakers' annual power needs to green solar energy.
New Re-imagined Website
Homemakers re-imagined the world of digital retail with the launch of its new e-commerce website. Homemakers.com, first launched in 2008, has transitioned from a once static website to the furniture brand's first e-commerce site in 2014. With this new website, launched in April of 2022, customers can expect a seamless browsing and checkout experience, an expansive offering of products, the future integration of shopping technology and quick and easy access to customer support and service.
Fueled by the COVID pandemic, we had to pivot to best serve our customers, and we wanted to make sure we were providing the best online shopping experience. Since the launch of the new website, Homemakers has seen a 243% growth in online revenue when looking at the past two years and comparing them to the two years prior.
Along with our showroom floor project, we also remodeled our front office for brand new look that was completed in 2022. We combined cashiering and financing into one space with our remodel. This new transaction hub served as a beacon in and out of Homemakers. The team assists our customers with completing orders and taking payments in one seamless experience.
Homemakers Sponsors the Iowa State Fair
Homemakers is an official sponsor at the Iowa State Fair in 2021! As an Iowa founded and Iowa proud business, sponsoring the fair was a natural fit and a way to reach communities throughout the entire state.
In part of the Homemakers' sponsorship, we had the second largest booth in the William C. Knapp Varied Industries Building at the fairgrounds with our top-sellers available to purchase and huge giveaways. Fairgoers were able to enter for a chance to win a $5000 Homemakers gift card, or one of five $1000 gift cards.
Our customer-favorite treat shop received a huge upgrade in 2019. The new coffee and cookies area, HOMEgrounds, was renovated and is now better than ever before! We Proudly Serve Starbucks® in our new café area. Join us in enjoying our newly renovated HOMEgrounds while you shop.
Hm Outlet Renovation
In 2018, Homemakers celebrated another renovation: Homemakers Outlet! A new store-within-a-store in the Urbandale showroom, Hm Outlet is stocked with stylish, brand new, and budget-friendly furniture.
In addition to the Hm Outlet, Homemakers also announced FREE Express Shipping in the state of Iowa. This impressive offer allows customers to create their dream home without the wait.
Less than a year after launching its e-commerce site, Homemakers announced a large expansion to accommodate the company’s recent growth. A new 120,000-square-foot facility that would house an ancillary warehouse. The facility would span the equivalent of 42 tennis courts, sitting on a five-acre plot of land on the northeast side of the property.
This marked the sixth major renovation for the Urbandale furniture store, as well as the third build in the past six years.
This massive expansion project was completed in 2016, resulting in an impressive warehouse. A state-of-the-art skywalk conveyor system transports furniture between the new warehouse and the original warehouse, loading docks and delivery area.
The innovative raised design was built to traverse an existing railroad track and uses a combination of wood and fabric conveyor belts to take advantage of the 70% storage increase provided by the ancillary warehouse.
Outlet Location Moves & Clearance Center Opens
In May 2009, Homemakers announced that its Des Moines furniture outlet would move its operations into the expanded Urbandale facility. Two months later, the brand-new Clearance Center opened. On July 31, 2009, Homemakers held a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the grand opening of the newly renovated store.
The store was expanded again in 2012, when Homemakers added 56% more storage capacity to the warehouse.
Legacy Website Launch
Then, in 2014, Homemakers celebrated 40 years of tradition with a new e-commerce website that would allow customers to buy furniture online, making their impressive selection and legendary low prices accessible across the United States.
On June 20, 2007, a groundbreaking ceremony marked the beginning of the renovation and rebuild of the existing Urbandale facility. The construction was split into four phases:
- Phase I consisted of the renovation of 60,000 square feet of the showroom and 64,000 square feet of warehouse space. It reached completion in March 2008.
- Phase II comprised the renovation of the 48,000-square-foot second floor. It was finished in June 2008.
- Phase III incorporated 42,000 square feet and was completed in September 2008.
- Phase IV encompassed the front entrance of the store and included 65,000 square feet of space. It was completed in July 2009.
Nebraska Furniture Mart Acquisition
In 2000, Nebraska Furniture Mart purchased Homemakers Furniture. Although now a part of Berkshire Hathaway, Homemakers is still managed and operated by members of the Merschman family.
In 2002, the Merschmans started planning an extensive renovation and expansion project for the Urbandale location.
Purchase of the Former Parker Brothers Factory
In 1985, the Merschmans purchased the former Parker Brothers factory on Douglas Avenue, opening a second furniture store on the edge of Urbandale, a suburb of Des Moines.
The Urbandale location underwent major renovations in the 1990s. In 1995, the warehouse was moved into the building next to the store. The showroom was also expanded, and the building received a new façade. In 1998, another set of renovations brought about a remodeled warehouse and a 40,000-square-foot showroom expansion. By the late ‘90s, Homemakers had two thriving furniture stores in the Des Moines area and more than 200 employees.
Making Your House a Home Since 1974
In the 1940s, the Merschman family opened their first furniture store in St. Paul, Iowa, starting a family tradition of excellence. Carl and Ina Merschman founded Homemakers Furniture in 1974. They purchased the former Gray’s Furniture Store, a 31,000-square-foot building on Hubbell Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa. The new furniture store opened with ten employees.