Furniture seller Jabs celebrates return to Grand Junction

The 100,000-square-foot American Furniture Warehouse showroom and its 50,000-square-foot warehouse are spread across 25 acres off U.S. Highway 6&50, between Gold’s Gym and the Walmart on Rimrock Avenue.

The grand opening is still three days away, and Jake Jabs already has a regret about American Furniture Warehouse’s new store in Grand Junction.

He wishes it was bigger.

The 100,000-square-foot showroom and accompanying 50,000-square-foot warehouse is spread across 25 acres at 2570 American Way, just off U.S. Highway 6&50 next to Gold’s Gym. Given how the newest Colorado location has performed since its soft opening last weekend, it’s good that American Furniture Warehouse’s owner purchased another 15 acres surrounding the facility.

The business has sold at least $30,000 in merchandise every day, including $88,000 on Saturday. It has made nearly daily deliveries to Moab, Utah. Three more trucks will take off for Utah today, according to Jabs.

“I think we’re going to do better here than I originally thought,” Jabs said Wednesday in the midst of offering an hourlong tour of the Grand Junction store.

Several dozen local business owners, advertising representatives and community leaders turned out in the evening for barbecue, beer, wine and a sneak peek at a retail outlet that is expected to provide a significant boost in sales-tax revenue for the city and Mesa County.

Dressed in a blue-and-white-striped, collared shirt, black slacks and tennis shoes, Jabs wandered through the store, explaining what sets American Furniture Warehouse apart from other furniture retailers, technological advancements that have enhanced customer service and nearly eliminated employee theft and how the single-store operation he started in 1975 has grown into a 14-store company with $330 million in annual sales.

This is the second time American Furniture Warehouse has had a Grand Junction store. Its first store opened and closed within a year in the mid-1980s in the wake of the oil shale bust.

Jabs returned to the valley because the company was delivering furniture every day to Grand Junction. He said he rented a helicopter a year ago and flew over the Grand Junction-Delta-Montrose region, looking at the inventory of housing in search of a new store location.

“Frankly, it was pretty quiet,” he said. “You build things like this based on faith a little bit.”

He settled on Grand Junction because there appeared to be a niche. Ashley Furniture Homestore closed its Grand Junction and Montrose locations in January.

“I think the demand is here. I think the market is here. I think the timing is right,” Jabs said.

The Grand Junction store is already open for business, and American Furniture Warehouse will host a grand opening beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday as part of an event that will include $40,000 in giveaways.


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