The first Jordan’s Furniture showroom in Maine, set to open this spring, will be decked out with rope-climbing courses and a massive LED ceiling display.

The Massachusetts-based retailer, which announced an expansion into Maine last year, will open the store inside The Maine Mall in South Portland late this spring, said Eliot Tatelman, president and CEO of the chain.

Most Jordan’s stores feature an entertainment option, such as an IMAX theater, an indoor skating park or an adventure ropes course. Tatelman said the South Portland store will have two ropes courses – one for adults and another for young children.

The ceiling of the store will feature an LED light display that will be the largest in North America, according to Tatelman.

“People are definitely going to want to see it,” he said.

Jordan’s is known for its promotions in addition to in-store entertainment. The company often features free furniture offers tied to the Boston Red Sox – furniture purchased during a certain period will be free if the team performs particular feats, such as winning the World Series, or if a pitcher throws a no-hitter.

Tatelman said the entertainment components create an attractive alternative to online shopping by giving families a reason to head out and visit the stores.

He said renovation of the Maine Mall space, which formerly housed a Filene’s department store and more recently a Bon-Ton department store, has been proceeding well, but the company isn’t ready to announce a firm opening date.

Tatelman said the decision to expand to Maine was easy.

With six stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut, “Maine was the next place left to do,” he said.

Tatelman said he was somewhat familiar with the state because his children went to camp in Maine, and he also vacationed in the state as a child with his parents.

Jordan’s is hiring about 150 people to staff the store, Tatelman said, but he didn’t know the status of the hiring effort. He said Jordan’s prides itself on having longtime employees, and that there has been a good response to its presence at job fairs and other recruitment efforts despite Maine’s record low unemployment.

The Maine store will have two floors of furniture displays, Tatelman said. The ropes courses will each feature two zip lines, he said, with curves in the route they will follow. The company’s store in New Haven, Connecticut, also features an indoor ropes course, which it says is the largest in the world. It features tightropes, balance beams, a free-fall area and a water and light show.

That store also has a pizza shop, and many Jordan’s stores also sell food or treats such as ice cream or candy.

Jordan’s was a family-run chain that was purchased by Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate run by Warren Buffett, in 1999. Tatelman said the corporate parent gives him a largely free hand in operating the chain.

Another Massachusetts-based furniture retailer, Bernie & Phyl’s, opened its first store in Maine last year. It is located in the former Toys”R”Us location on Maine Mall Road, almost within sight of the new Jordan’s store.

Analysts said the two chains were likely attracted to Maine because of strong home sales, which tend to drive furniture sales. A spokesman for Bernie & Phyl’s said the chain found that a lot of customers in its New Hampshire store were from Maine, leading to the decision to expand northward.


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