For the past 90 years, North Carolina has been considered as the ‘World’s Furniture Capitol’ and for good reason. Furniture production has been a key part of the state’s economy since the 17th century, when British artisans first settled there and began creating wooden furniture. Before earning its global status, NC’s presence in manufacturing began with only six furniture plants. These factories were located in Asheville, Goldsboro, Lenoir, Mebane, Charlotte and Ramseur, employing around 182 men in total.
Early industrial entrepreneurs focused their investments around the Piedmont area in North Carolina, especially High Point due to its abundant supply of wood, affordable labor and well-developed transportation routes. The metropolis hosted its first local furniture trade-fair in 1909, which ultimately led to creation of High Point Market, a globally acclaimed furnishings trade show that’s still in operation today. By the early 80s, High Point and North Carolina at large had already earned the title of ‘Furniture Capitol of the Globe.’
Since that period, NC’s furniture industry has grown to now become the most renowned region in production of quality wooden and upholstered furniture items. However, recently the sector has been contending with effects of increased competition coming from foreign countries. Despite this challenge, the state still maintains a solid presence in this industry and is very competitive.
Statistics show that North Carolina is the biggest employer in furniture production, representing around 9.5% of America’s employment ratio. It also ranks 5th in the country in terms of average number of furniture production establishments and No.1 in the household furniture segment with a 12% employment average.
In terms of exports, the state’s shipment figures grew steadily from $153 to $300 million between 2002 and 2008. As for destination markets, Canada is the primary location for North Carolina furniture with exports accounting about 40% of the sales, followed by UAE and Saudi Arabia, China and Mexico. Most of these exports are in the home furniture segment.
Why it’s a great place to get furniture from?
If you are looking for high-quality handcrafted furnishings at affordable prices then North Carolina is the best place to shop. It has a large concentration of factories, craftsmen and outlet stores that make the region an ultimate shopping destination. Moreover, customers will benefit from a depth of industry expertise and knowledge that can be found nowhere else, meaning professional advice/assistance is always readily available. In addition, close vicinity to most of the production plants makes customization a lot more feasible.
There is a wide variety of furniture products to choose from. In places like High Point and Hickory, you will find many stores and outlets. There are also several malls that are dedicated to selling furnishings only, here you can choose from specific manufacturing styles and finishes. These products are not only cheaper, but can also be ordered online for prompt home delivery, some manufacturers even offer subsidized shipment costs for bulk purchases.
Twice every year, people from all around the world, travel to North Carolina to participate in the High Point Market. This week-long furniture exhibition features the most comprehensive collection of new product lines available. Though this ‘Market’ is primarily meant for industry professionals, most of the furnishings on display eventually end up in local furniture stores/outlets once the exhibition comes to a close.
Top quality products
North Carolina is one of the few places in America where furniture is still sourced and produced locally, everything is American-made to the highest possible standards. These products are well-built and will be long lasting.
Buyers also enjoy the benefit of receiving superior products at affordable prices, this is achieved through strict material specifications and skilled craftsmen who create unique furnishings. North Carolina furniture manufacturers carefully monitor the production process to ensure everything is done to perfection.
If you are looking for quality, American made furniture, at affordable prices look to North Carolina for all of your needs.