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Our History

Our History

carl and ida merschman

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.

homemakers showroom in the 1990s

1980s-1990s

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.

nebraska furniture mart purchases homemakers furniture

Early 2000s

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.

groundbreaking ceremony for beginning of homemakers renovation

2007

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.

opening of homemakers clearance center and new storefront

2009-2014

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.

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.

homemakers warehouse expansion

2015-2016

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.

homemakers outlet

2018

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.

homegrounds case located in homemakers

2019

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.

© 2018 Starbucks Corporation. All rights reserved. Starbucks and the Starbucks logo are registered trademarks of Starbucks Corporation. Approval code:25092019192758MM

The story continues...

Shop with us today or join our team to be a part of Homemakers’ continued growth!