Sam’s Furniture to open 50,000-square-foot store this fall

by Jeff Della Rosa ( 2,177 views 

Just two years after moving into a 120,000-square-foot store west of Interstate 49 in Springdale, family-owned Sam’s Furniture continues to grow.

Later this year, the retailer will open a 50,000-square-foot store adjacent to its existing building at 4326 Hidden Creek Lane. At 170,000 square feet, the two stores combined will comprise one of the largest single-site furniture stores in Arkansas, said Joe Donaldson, president and co-owner.

Good business is driving the expansion, said Donaldson, who expects revenue to rise to more than $20 million this year, after reaching $19.5 million in 2017. In May 2016, Sam’s Furniture opened the 120,000-square-foot store after five consecutive years of growth.

The new store, which will be separate from the existing store, will offer clearance and promotional furniture items, he said. About 10% of the lower-priced items in the existing store will be moved to the new store, allowing the larger store to expand its selection of mid-range priced furniture. The new store will be split evenly between showroom and warehouse space. The existing store is similarly divided. Sam’s Furniture has 60 employees, and Donaldson expects to add between 17 and 20 employees when the new store opens this fall.

Sam’s Furniture also has a 50,000-square-foot store in Rogers that offers clearance and promotional furniture items, but Donaldson said he’s debating whether to keep that location open. He’s also considered whether to expand into other markets, but wants to become established in Northwest Arkansas before expanding out of the region.

“This market is obviously a good market,” said Donaldson, adding that he would love to expand into Springfield, Mo., or Little Rock.

On May 9, C.R. Crawford Construction of Fayetteville received a $5.42 million permit to build the new store at 4246 Hidden Creek Lane in the 31-acre Business Park at Brush Creek, owned by Springdale-based Mathias Properties. The new store is under construction on 8.47 acres that Mathias Shopping Centers Inc. purchased from Five Forty Properties LLC of Little Rock on Aug. 5, 2014. The deal was part of a $2.5 million land purchase that also included land to the south, including the 7.26 acres on which the existing Sam’s Furniture store is located.

When the new store opens this fall, Donaldson plans to have a handful of celebrities attend the grand opening event. Oliver North, who was recently named president of gun rights organization National Rifle Association, is expected to attend. North is a former Marine Corps lieutenant colonel and aide to President Ronald Reagan. Donaldson declined to name the other celebrities but said a former Dallas Cowboys player who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is expected to be there as well. When the existing store opened in 2016, actor Kevin Sorbo and cast members of reality TV show “Duck Dynasty” attended the grand opening.

Sam’s Furniture was established in 1991 in downtown Springdale by Sam and Becky Donaldson, Joe Donaldson’s parents. Becky remains a silent partner in the business after Sam died in March 2017. Joe started leading operations of the company in 2009, and his sister, Brandi Isenbart, is vice president and co-owner of the company.