Furniture Mall of Olathe opening June 15 with features, size that make for destination shopping

Furniture Mall of Olathe opening June 15 with features, size that make for destination shopping

A new retailer is coming to Olathe to fill a market niche missing in Olathe for many years, but unique customer-pleasing features will likely turn the store into an attraction for out-of-towners as well.

The family-owned Furniture Mall of Kansas is opening June 15 at 2125 E Kansas City Rd., just south of 119th Street and west of I-35. With 161,000-square-feet of retail space, the mall encompasses five different stores, each offering a variety of brands and products—furniture, flooring, mattresses, accessories, and more—selected with an eye toward style, quality, and value.

The Furniture Mall of Kansas will have a significant economic impact on Olathe, said Tim McKee, CEO of the Olathe Chamber of Commerce.

Pictured from left: brothers Jeff and Jamie Winter, and parents Joyce and Bob Winter (all owners of Furniture Mall of Kansas).

"The store fills a huge void in the furniture market in southern Johnson County," he says. "And the design of the store will make it an attractive destination, drawing people from out of town and out of state. Its location just across from the Bass Pro Shop—another great draw for visitors—provides good synergy in that location and momentum for further growth on the west side of I-35."

Additionally, McKee says, the store fills the old Benchmark building that has been vacant for many years and will bring more than 100 new jobs to Olathe.

Owners Bob and Joyce Winter, Jeff and June Winter, Jamie and Jeanne Winter are dedicated to providing customers and their families with an enjoyable, intimate, and easy-to-navigate shopping environment. That's no small feat in a facility that's approximately the size of three football fields.

Based on no fewer than 82 years of experience in the furniture business, the Winters have designed their new Olathe mall to enrich and to guide. Featured prominently for customers to enjoy are:

  • An Amish Barn, complete with wood peg-and-mortise construction. The structure was raised within the store by Amish Impressions, furniture suppliers for the furniture mall.
  • A unique, interactive two-story, 15,000-gallon digital fish tank, designed by owner Jamie Winter, an electrical engineer by trade. Visitors can feed the fish.
  • A café that offers homemade frozen custard, family recipe cookies and other baked goods, gourmet coffees, and sodas.
  • Two open-air patios.
  • Color-coding along sprawling pathways to help visitors locate desired destinations.

The family describes the mall's successful business model—five stores under one roof—on its website, furnituremallofkansas.com. The stores are Discovery Furniture, RoomMakers, Marling's Furniture, Mattress Headquarters and Abbey Flooring Headquarters.

"We have gone from a single store to a Furniture Mall with five stores that offer the 'small' store feel and the 'big' store selection," the Winter family says on its website.

Olathe Mayor Michael Copeland finds great symmetry in that statement: "What a wonderful fit this furniture store is for Olathe, which we often describe as having 'small town appeal with big city amenities.'"

The three furniture stores showcase good, better, and best product selection in terms of quality and prices: good (RoomMakers), better (Discovery), and best (Marlings).

"We have the best of furniture and accessories on the market today. Our selection is comparable to big-chain furniture stores," says Jamie Winter. "By grouping by cost, we help customers narrow the search for products that best meet their needs. It simplifies the shopping experience." Another way the furniture mall places the emphasis on meeting customer needs is by employing sales associates, or home specialists, who are non-commissioned.

"That's pretty unique in the furniture industry," Jamie says. "It makes for the best experience for the customer."

The seeds for the Furniture Mall of Kansas were planted when Winter family patriarch and matriarch, Ben and Eva, opened The Howdy Come In lunch room, gas station and custard shop west of Emporia in 1933. The story goes that a hitchhiker toting a bag of cabinet making tools stopped by, and the couple hired him to build a child's chifforobe. The rest is history.

The Winter family now owns and operates a Furniture Mall of Kansas and a distribution center in Topeka as well as the mall in Olathe.

At the heart of the store's success, the family believes, is its mission: "Being the best at helping our guests have more beautiful and comfortable homes, treating our employees like family, and being committed to the communities we reside in." It has a history of good corporate citizenship, supporting a mission in Topeka for many years. One of its pre-opening events for the Olathe store, in fact, will help raise money for City Union Mission in Kansas City.

The store came to Olathe, Tim McKee says, because the Winters saw an upscale community of 130,000 people with no large furniture store and they knew they could fill that void. Jeff Winter says that the fact that the furniture mall's business philosophy and values fit with the community's was also a factor in choosing Olathe.

Copeland sums up the Olathe opening of the Furniture Mall of Kansas this way: "It's a win-win for the store and the community. This will be another one of our great Olathe success stories."