You can find items similar to what you'll see at Rush Market, but you won't find the same items -- at least not in stores.

That's because the pop-up home furnishings store gets most of its directly from brands and manufacturers, many of which sell mostly on e-commerce sites.

"It's things you might find on HGTV," said Abbie Stanton, marketing director for the Omaha-based retailer.

That means furnishings from brands that many people have never heard of and styles that people might only find on the coasts, she said.

Rush Market opened in Omaha a little over two years ago. Stanton said she and several other people with e-commerce backgrounds had an idea of trying to combine a "flash" sale -- a sale of discounted goods that lasts for a limited time -- with a physical retail setting.

The group tested the concept in an old grocery store starting in March 2017.

They would open for three or four days and then close to restock and change out merchandise before reopening the next week for three or four days.

The concept was extremely popular, Stanton said, and soon Rush Market moved into a former Gordmans store and kept the grocery store space as its warehouse.

After success in Omaha, "Lincoln was just the next natural step as a business," Stanton said.

She said a lot of the store's Omaha customers were from Lincoln, so the company decided it was time for a Lincoln location.

Rush Market signed a lease earlier this spring to occupy the former Younkers space at Gateway Mall and held a soft opening this weekend to which it invited a limited amount of people. The official opening is set for May 30.

Stanton said the company chose the former Younkers store because it is a "great central location." She also said Gateway management has been a "fantastic" partner.

"They were open to our idea and were extremely supportive," she said.

Becky Sidles, Gateway's marketing director, said the mall is happy to have the store as a tenant.

"This is such an exciting and unique concept, and we can’t wait to offer The Rush Market experience of deals, delights and discovery to our shoppers and guests," she said in an email.

Rush Market is occupying both floors of the 100,000-square-foot space, but only about half of it is dedicated to retail floor space. Some areas are blocked off by curtains, and Stanton said the store is using that space for storage of inventory.

The company did few renovations to the space, other than painting a few accent walls, but that's part of its business model to be able to keep prices low.

Stanton said that when Rush Market opened its first store in Omaha, it left up the signs advertising the different grocery departments.

"The space is raw, but the prices are beautiful," Stanton said.

Rush Market specializes in "core products for your home," Stanton said. That includes furniture, rugs, wall hangings, deck and patio furnishings and other items.

Inventory changes weekly and can even change daily. The store "pops" open for a few days (Thursday-Saturday in Lincoln) and then restocks with new items that its team of buyers have found.

"The fun is coming back to see what's new," Stanton said.

To be able to buy items at the store, you have to become a member. Membership is free and simply requires some personal information entered into the Rush Market website.

Stanton said the company does not disclose its membership numbers, but she said it has seen a lot of interest from Lincoln-based customers.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.


Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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