• Clint Engel

American Freight expands West with 1st NM store

Will move farther West with 3 Phoenix-area stores on tap

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — American Freight Furniture and Mattress opened its first New Mexico store here Friday as the Top 100 company continues an aggressive expansion push.

The Delaware, Ohio-based retailer opened a 20,000-square-foot warehouse-style store at 1700 Eubank Blvd., N.E., that will add 10 to 15 jobs.

“Albuquerque is booming, and we’re excited to be opening our first New Mexico store there,” Vice President of Sales Kevin O’Keefe said in a release. “We know lots of people are moving to the area, and we’re here to set them up.”

Founded by Steve Belford in 1993 and now owned by an affiliate of private equity firm The Jordan Company of New York, American Freight has been growing at a fast clip for the past few years. Among the new stores opening last year was a first in Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, and the retailer has moved into several new markets already this year — with its first two stores in Charlotte, N.C., and stores in Jackson, Miss.; Wichita, Kan.; and now Albuquerque.

The 150-store company has no immediate plans for additional expansion in Albuquerque but does plan to open its first Arizona stores in the coming weeks — in Mesa, Phoenix and Glendale, Ariz., said Kelley Lauginiger, content specialist for American Freight. The vast majority of the retailer’s stores are located in the eastern half of the U.S., although the latest expansion move and the Arizona stores that are coming extend it further West.

The retailer declined to disclose its investment in the expansion or projected sales.

American Freight is No. 30 on Furniture Today’s Top 100 with estimated 2016 furniture, bedding and accessory sales of $330 million.

Its warehouse-style store model saves customer money, it said, as goods move directly from its suppliers to stores. According to information on its website, the retailer buys closeouts, overruns and cancelled orders at reduced prices and stocks them in its no-frills showrooms. The reduced overhead and savings from suppliers leads to its low prices.

Bedding suppliers include Serta and Simmons, according to the company, as well as NordicRest and Stewart & Hamilton, both exclusive to the retailer. Other brands noted on its website include Albany, American Furniture, Cramco, Corsicana, Crownmark, Delta, Dr. Marvin’s Sleep Products, Elements, Guardian, Hughes, Kith, Millcraft, North Carolina Upholstery, Standard, Solstice, Steve Silver, Stylecraft and Worthington House.

Clint EngelClint Engel | Senior Retail Editor, Furniture Today

Please feel free to email or call me with all of your retail news and tips, including expansion news, successful merchandising and marketing strategies and anything else you would like to see covered by Furniture/Today.  Contact me directly at cengel@furnituretoday.com or 336-605-1129.

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