The Berkshire Hathaway Inc. annual meeting — this Saturday in Omaha — is as well-known for the shopping that goes on as the economic nuggets shared by its chairman and CEO, Warren Buffett.
The Saturday event, which typically draws about 35,000 people, might as well be code for “shopping trip in Omaha,” said Diana Abbott, manager of the Bookworm, the locally owned, independent book store near 87th and Pacific Streets.
“There are some shareholders who are strictly here to shop and get a bargain,” she said.
More vendors exhibit each year, new products are unveiled and, as Buffett said in his recent letter to shareholders, most locations racked up record sales last year.
This year, shoppers can expect:
>> Nebraska Furniture Mart will unveil a handcrafted queen size bed that retails for $12,000, but sells for about $7,500 at the Mart and is even less for shareholders.
>> Borsheims will showcase a variety of new commemorative items as well as fine jewelry and rare pieces, such as gold coins with Buffett's and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger's pictures on them. Borsheims is also selling a 400-pound eagle sculpture created by Omaha master sculptor Matthew Placzek for $62,000.
The biggest item, though, is a 35.80-carat rough diamond. The customer who purchases the diamond will go to Ontario, Canada, to work with a master diamantaire to determine the final polished shape of the diamond, making it the largest diamond ever mined, cut and polished in Canada. Though it retails for $2 million, it will be discounted for a shareholder.
>> See's Candies will have 7,800 commemorative boxes of peanut brittle with Buffett's face on them. See's will also lay out about 25,000 butterscotch lollipops on the chairs of shareholders. The goal is to get a photo of the most people eating a lollipop.