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Discovery Furniture opens Furniture Mall of Kansas in Topeka this weekend

Clint Engel, Lori Lester -- Furniture Today, August 30, 2013

TOPEKA, Kan. — Discovery Furniture is set to open its Furniture Mall of Kansas here this Labor Day weekend, as it moves into new categories with two new store fronts.

 Bob, Joyce, Jamie, Jeff and June Winter in front of their new Furniture Mall of Kansas at West Ridge Mall in Topeka, Kan.Bob, Joyce, Jamie, Jeff and June Winter in front of their new Furniture Mall of Kansas at West Ridge Mall in Topeka, Kan.
 Discovery Furniture and turned a former Macy’s in Topeka, Kan., into a 193,000-square-foot Furniture Mall of Kansas with five store brands, including its new upper-end Marling’s and Abbey Flooring Headquarters.Discovery Furniture and turned a former Macy’s in Topeka, Kan., into a 193,000-square-foot Furniture Mall of Kansas with five store brands, including its new upper-end Marling’s and Abbey Flooring Headquarters.
 The Furniture Mall of Kansas features a large digital aquarium in its Mattress Headquarters store, where consumers can feed virtual fish.The Furniture Mall of Kansas features a large digital aquarium in its Mattress Headquarters store, where consumers can feed virtual fish.

The 193,000-square-foot, two-level mall in the former Macy's in West Ridge Mall will feature a total of five store banners, including the Topeka, Kan.-based retailer's namesake Discovery Furniture midpriced, multi-line store, RoomMakers (the retailer's dedicated Ashley store) and two Mattress Headquarters bedding specialty stores (on both the lower and upper levels).

New storefronts for the retailer are the upper-end Marling's and Abbey Flooring Headquarters, the latter bringing Discovery into the carpet, wood flooring, tile and other surfaces business. The retailer also has carved out space for a clearance center, which will clear out goods from all the store brands, said Jeff Winter, co-owner of the family-owned business.

The store replaces two other Topeka locations for the retailer, one featuring Discovery and Mattress Headquarters and another with RoomMakers and Mattress Headquarters.

Designed by Martin Roberts Design, roughly 150,000-square-feet of space is split between the Discovery and RoomMakers stores. Among Discovery's key suppliers are Flexsteel, Southern Motion, Lane, England, Legacy, Magnussen Home and Best Home Furnishings.

In an unusual move, the retailer created two Mattress Headquarters stores in the mall, one for each level and featuring a wide selection of bedding from key brands such as Serta, Sealy, Simmons and Tempur-Pedic. The selection also includes Furniture First buying group's private label Mattress First bedding, produced by Serta. Each of the bedding stores also feature a Bedgear Shop, offering a complete line of sleep accessories and its personalized fitting process.

The furniture mall includes a Marling's showroom, featuring upper-middle to high-end lines, such as Bernhardt, Thomasville, Universal's Paula Deen Home and Amish Impressions by Fusion Designs. Marling's showroom shares both an exterior entrance and mall entrance on the first floor with Discovery.

Winter, whose family also owns a three-store complex in Lawrence, Kan., and an Ashley Furniture HomeStore in Salina, Kan., declined to disclose sales projections or the company's investment in the new mall, its largest location to date.

He said he's often asked why the retailer uses various store fronts instead of including all goods in one superstore, and, "The reason is because I don't want to be just a big store that's overwhelming to the customer."
"I want to have the big selection, but also have the smaller individual stores where people get personalized attention," he added.

Among the special touches in the mall is a large interactive aquarium in Mattress Headquarters that allows consumers to feed virtual fish. (For a glimpse of it, check out this video on the Topeka Capital-Journal website:
http://cjonline.com/news/business/2013-08-16/furniture-mall-kansas-announces-more-features-new-store
Discovery is hosting a pre-grand opening event tonight at the new Furniture Mall of Kansas benefiting the Topeka Rescue Mission. The retailer will collect $20 ticket donations and provide live entertainment. Special guest include designer and former HGTV and TLC networks celebrity Angelo Surmelis, whose angelo:HOME home furnishings collection is on display in the Discovery showroom.

The furniture mall opens for business Saturday.

For more details and photos, see the Sept. 9 edition of Furniture/Today.

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