Bob’s Discount Furniture Can Be Traced Back To a Motorcycle Accident

If you're in the market for some new furniture and want a shopping experience where you won't have a salesperson hovering over your every move, you may want to consider a trip to Bob's Discount Furniture. Since 1991, Bob's has positioned itself as the furniture retailer that skips sales pressure in favor of offering the lowest prices on a daily basis. They'll even throw in some ice cream and cookies — no purchase necessary. While the furniture company didn’t officially begin selling sofas and dinner tables until 1991, its earliest beginnings can be traced back to 1976, when co-founder Bob Kaufman wiped out on his motorcycle. Doctors contemplated amputating Bob’s leg, but decided to hold off. Although he recovered from his injuries, he still walks with a limp because of some paralysis. What the accident did for Bob was give him a new perspective on life. He was advised to buy a waterbed to help with his recovery, but he couldn’t help but feel he wasn’t getting the best deal when shopping for one. Frustrated by his shopping experience, Bob entered into a partnership to sell the waterbeds with his cousin, Gene Rosenberg, an experienced businessman. The plan was to lease space in larger stores with the agreement that the lease would only be paid upon making a sale. This allowed Bob and Gene to sell the waterbeds at lower rates than the competition. The business strategy proved to be incredibly successful, and the pair eventually leased 24 retail spaces in four different states. After becoming the “waterbed king,” Bob decided to go full-bore into the furniture business, filling a void in the industry where people could buy low-cost furniture without having to haggle. Today, there are 139 stores from Maine to California, with $250 million in sales annually.