The Evolution of the North Carolina furniture business
The High Point Furniture Market is marked as an early center for the growth of the furniture sector from the South. Stemming from a small scale of English artisans who settled in North Carolina, since then the farming landscape of the South started to change with the close of the Civil War and slavery during the Reconstruction Era.
Following shortly thereafter, the North Carolina furniture business began to gain momentum into the late 19th century, and High Point, North Carolina attracted developers to its location for its access to transport, and inexpensive labor. The town was located ideally in the middle of the Piedmont area with access to huge hardwood forests in the western and central areas of the state. High Point, situated at the intersection of the railroad track and also a main state road, became the perfect centralized delivery point for the southern market.
The boom of the High Point city was also influenced by what is known as an agricultural depression of the 1890s, which drove plantation workers out of the countryside and into growing cities like High Point in search of work.All of which allowed the furniture factories in High Point be able to meet the requirements of generating affordable wooden household furniture to the southern market.
By 1890-1900, 38 brand new North Carolina furniture factories started, with 13 of these in High Point alone. Remarkably by the time the Southern Railway lineup was established in 1894, High Point was sending eight completely loaded freight cars of furniture every day by 1898. This level of production spurred a chain reaction that forged High Point into the top furniture center from the South, with over 40 furniture manufacturers situated in around the High Point area. [Meanwhile, other producers put up industrial factories to give related goods such as veneers, plate glass, paint, mirrors, and locks to furniture businesses.
The big profits in the North Carolina furniture market plateaued as more and more factories sprung up to get their cut. With this increase in competition for market shares, by 1910 the wages for capable experienced employees and increasing shipping prices had cut further into the profit. These external problems were one thing, but it also led to inexperienced supervisors who tried to market products below the cost of goods and many companies went bankrupt from the rapid expansion.
The High Point Market Was Birthed
As history will tell, innovation is born from a struggle or tragedy and the new millennium certainly forced the North Carolina industry to innovate to survive. One High Point company in particular, Tomlinson Chair Co., invented incentives to present its workforce a chance to get a part of their profits. The business was among the first to fabricate superior period reproduction living and dining space furniture on a big scale; offer bonuses. All employees obtained a life insurance policy coverage too.
Marketing became essential to the phenomenal rise of the North Carolina furniture business in the twentieth century. This situation improved in the turn of the century with all the mass advertising and sales of North Carolina furniture. In precisely the exact same time, competitors in massive cities such as New York and Chicago held a nationwide exposition two times annually to show the producers’ products and also to carry orders from furniture retailers and buyers.
Recognizing the demand for a convenient location, High Point furniture producers started looking for an exposition to exhibit and market their merchandise to the general public. The initial North Carolina furniture exposition was held at High Point in 1905. In 1921, the new Southern Furniture Exhibition Building was birthed at the price of $2 million. High Point Market had overtaken Chicago as the site of this country’s most significant semi furniture series with its 700 attendees and $2.25 million in sales.
Gradually the High Point Furniture Market, held in April and October, has become an internationally famous furniture trade fair for many home furnishings. High Point is still the prime place in the United States to buy brand-name furniture in a significant discount.
The High Point Market Today
The North Carolina furniture business and growing fabric manufacturing set the rate for 20th century development booms in High Point. With the population growth of the 20th century and million-dollar city development plans put in place; the High Point Market’s location was primed to be a staple in the furniture industry well passed present day.
The High Point Market continued to place furniture styles and also to be a national economic indicator; the $5 billion in earnings in 1947 later World War II prediction a postwar boom. The 1950s’ expansion of the furniture marketplace revealed the High Point’s second population boom from 39,973 in 1950 into 62,063 at 1960. From 1959, North Carolina had been the nation using the most people in the furniture business, beating out New York. Back in 1961, The State magazine announced a statemen which holds true today that”High Point, in Guilford County, is the world’s top manufacturing center of wooden furniture. It’s also the place of one of the country’s principal furniture markets.”
Today, the High Point Market has reported drawing audiences of five to six million buyers. North Carolina continues to lead the country in the creation of both wooden and upholstered household furniture. The furniture has been styled and some costs have been cut, to satisfy the requirements of all income levels, but has not lost its own regional characteristics. Some regional artisans still promise a special and higher quality wooden item. High Point became famous as the”Furniture Capital of the World” from the 1980s through the gold age of North Carolina furniture production.
The High Point Market Economy and What It Means
The High Point Marketplace was noted for being a substantial portion of the area’s bigger furniture”audience.” The current market and its consequences on the city also have become the focus of a comprehensive case study by urban sociologist John Joe Schlichtman. Inside this research, High Point’s capacity to catch the worldwide furniture merchandising market is believed to indicate a new age in evaluating a smaller city’s potential. Highlighted in Schlichtman’s case study, he coins the term of High Point a”Niche City”, which will be”a town which forges global centrality by producing an economic specialization in a particular section of the global service market.”
In 2005, High Point embraced”North Carolina’s International City” because its official motto, highlighting the part of global business and notably the High Point Market, the biggest home furnishing industry trade fair in the world.
Since 2005, the High Point Furniture Market has received increased competition from the rest of the furniture industry and the massive World Market Center job in Vegas. In February 2011, speculation developed that Las Vegas World Market Center pursuits were positioning to buy a controlling stake at the High Point Market. A truly remarkable thing to achieve for such a small town as High Point in America.