NFL Officeworks celebrates 40 years helping Atlanta— and the country—get its offices outfitted.
Viningsbased In Zone Brands Inc. is just one of the many offices NFL Officeworks has worked on: “We’ve done everything from a $250 workstation for a law office in Douglasville— installation included— to a $3 million project for an entire office building,” muses Atlanta-born-and-bred Jones (all three office locations have been less than 5 miles from Howell Mill Road, where he grew up.).
NFL actually stands for National Furniture Liquidators,” jokes CEO Bill Jones, who celebrates 40 years in partnership with Jim Wilkes this year. But it didn’t start out that way. In 1977, Wilkes and Jones began a service company that dealt with the backend—e.g., receiving, installing—for other furniture companies. And when they went to take the new furniture to the showroom floors, the companies just asked for the old furniture to be removed, resulting in a massive stockpile of used furniture. “In doing that, we got in with a lot of furniture manufacturers like Steelcase and Herman Miller,” Jones explains, “and we had a heck of a lot of furniture. When companies like the Home Depot and UPS moved into their central campuses, we bought all their used furniture. We realized the market for used furniture was going to be big back in the ’90s with the dot-com boom, so we started selling used to a lot of startup companies.”
One of their biggest customers back then was Charles Brewer, founder of MindSpring. “He would come into the showroom with his dog to pick out furniture,” remembers Jones. “Probably 10 years into [selling to startups], we realized the business had a lot of competition with China and Taiwan,” he says, and new furniture became part of their arsenal. “It’s really been a trend for us over the past 15 years. Every year, our new furniture sales are a bigger percentage than they were the year before.”
In Zone Brands Inc.’s ubermodern interiors thanks to NFL Officeworks’ dream team of designers.
This ability to adapt has served NFL Officeworks’ sales, design, administrative, accounting and operations teams well, and they now do everything: used furniture, new furniture, full-service design and planning, and even movie prop rentals. You’ve spotted their work everywhere, even in movies such as The Blind Side and The Fate of the Furious. They’ll even take care of out-of-state orders and installs, working with a network of trusted subcontractors and workmen; although their headquarters is still in Atlanta, with a Greenville, S.C., office helmed by Wilkes. Jones says, “I really don’t think there’s a state in America—except maybe North Dakota—that we haven’t sold furniture in. Every marketplace—the Bahamas and Bermuda—we definitely cover some ground.”
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Photography by: nfl officeworks