Furniture

Flat screen TVs are one of the reasons for the decreasing size of furniture. Many people opt to mount them on the wall, which eliminates the need for an entertainment center.
Jeremy Levine / Flickr Creative Commons

For more than 100 years, the High Point Market has offered furniture and home furnishings to buyers from across the state. Today, the market is the world’s largest furniture trade show.

The furniture industry has been an economic boon for the Triad and it continues to adapt to new needs as the next generation starts to settle down and buy furniture.

Pieces from Stanley Furniture's Young America collection.
High Point Market

  

North Carolina has a rich history of producing furniture. High Point has been at the center of the market for more than a century. 

But the industry looks much different than it did just a few decades ago. Globalization caused many companies to send manufacturing overseas. Most recently, Stanley Furniture Company closed its plant in Robbinsville.

Some large companies are trying to reverse that trend, while small custom furniture shops pop up across the state.

Pieces from Stanley Furniture's Young America collection.
High Point Market

Twice a year, in April and October, High Point becomes the center of the furniture and home furnishings world.   This week, Stanley Furniture is getting a lot of attention, showing off its new space.  Stanley recently moved to High Point from Virginia.  It’s just one sign of  growth in the furniture industry in North Carolina after years of decline.

A picture of High Point Market.
High Point Market Authority

The High Point Market kicks off Saturday.  It’s the largest home furnishings trade show in the world.  Dignitaries and celebrities will make the rounds.  U.S. Senator Kay Hagan and Governor Pat McCrory will "do market" this spring.  McCrory will meet with more than 40 furniture industry leaders who recently sent him a letter in support of funding for the High Point Market Authority.  A budget proposal released earlier this month showed significant cuts to the market authority.

Tom Conley, president and CEO of the High Point Market Authority, says he’s glad the governor reversed course.

Meredith Younger Spell
Leoneda Inge

Tens of thousands of furniture retailers, buyers and journalists from more than 100 countries are in High Point this week for the bi-annual High Point Market.  Those in the furniture industry say business is up this year across the country.   That is good news for a state like North Carolina that has been tied to the industry for generations.  Changing Economy Reporter Leoneda Inge visited a showroom in High Point that’s getting a lot of attention this year.

For the past 25 years, North Carolina’s once-vibrant furniture industry has been dwindling. Factories have moved abroad and thousands of jobs have been lost. But now, things might be turning around. As countries like China develop a higher standard of living, it's no longer cheaper for companies to move there. Some businesses are finding it cheaper to operate in the U.S. where, conveniently, there already are empty factories and a trained workforce.

Another North Carolina furniture maker is facing financial trouble. Jessica Jones reports Linwood furniture of Davidson County has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

More than 200 furniture companies in North Carolina have closed over the past decade. This weekend in High Point – there is a festival to celebrate the region’s unique history. 

The High Point Theatre is hosting the first annual – “Carolina Crossroads – A Celebration of Music and Furniture.”  Tonight the theatre will show the film – “With These Hands.”  It captures the last days of the Hooker Furniture Plant in Martinsville, Virginia.