Photos

Alex Nemet’s Northeast Factory Direct offers dramatic savings on mattresses. In stock are over 300 brand new sets, ready for delivery. (Photography by Benjamin Margalit/Margalit Studio)


The Untouchables

Article

Published: 08/24/2017

by Beth Newcomb

For around $400 plus tax, you can treat yourself and your spouse to a lavish weekend stay at a luxury hotel. For just a couple hundred dollars more, you can sleep on a premium mattress from Northeast Factory Direct for many years to come.

 

“You spend about a third of your life sleeping,” says Alex Nemet, owner of the no-frills warehouse. “When it comes to your home, that’s really where you should invest—in your mattress. If your mattress is more than eight years old, it’s time to buy a new one.”

 

Among the impressive deals Alex pointed out during a recent visit was a king-size adjustable bed with USA-made memory foam for just $1,599. A queen-size sells for $999. Not far away, a handsome sectional sofa was selling for $995—about half of what you would expect to pay elsewhere.

 

Alex, who started the company with a single dining room set in a friend’s garage, figured out how to become the consumers’ best friend—by not trying to trick them into subsidizing a robust overhead and bloated advertising budget.

 

“We keep it simple here,” Alex says while walking on the raw concrete showroom floor.

 

“I deal in volume and we don’t have a fancy showroom. I’ve cut out the expensive overhead and my staff doesn’t work on commission. If this same warehouse were located in a prime retail area, it would cost me 10 times what I pay monthly. That’s a lot of savings I can pass on to my customers.”

 

That may be why half of his business is made up of repeat customers and referrals.

 

“There is never any pressure to buy anything and I encourage customers to check around at other places to comparison shop,” Alex says. “I do that because I know they’ll be back. The big guys don’t like me, but my customers sure appreciate the savings.”

 

And they appreciate the laid-back environment.

 

When you pull into the parking lot at Northeast Factory Direct, you’ll notice that the place looks a little small for a warehouse store.

 

Don’t be fooled.

 

When you walk through the front door, you’ll see that just beyond the recently expanded showroom of gorgeous heavily discounted all-wood cabinetry lies an expansive multi-roomed warehouse of sofas, dining sets, mattresses, hot tubs, pool tables and other home products. These are simply floor samples. Everything you purchase is brand new.

 

“You won’t be delivered something you and a hundred other people took for a test drive,” says Alex. 

 

“On your greeting, we’re happy to set you up with some popcorn and soft drinks, but after that we leave you alone unless you want help,” Alex promises.

 

“Some people don’t like to be hounded by ambitious salesmen. But we’re always here to help you find what you’re looking for.”

 

If you’re wondering what it costs to become a member at Northeast Factory Direct, the answer is “nothing.”

 

“We are not one of those clubs that charge you for the privilege of shopping there,” Alex says. “We just have a simple format for presenting customers with a way to save a lot of money.”

 

Northeast Factory Direct has two locations. Find them at 3321 W. 140th Street in Cleveland. The phone number is 216-941-7727 and the hours are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. In Eastlake the address is 33599 Curtis Blvd., and the phone number is 440-942-7945. Hours are Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Get directions from anywhere when you visit the website at NortheastFactoryDirect.com.