The History of the High Point Market
Founded in 1909 in High Point, N.C., the High Point Market was formed to provide the region’s furniture makers and retailers with a convenient venue to conduct business. Originally known as the Southern Furniture Market, it established itself as a significant fixture in the American home furnishings industry in 1921 with the completion of the Southern Furniture Exposition Building. Shortly after the first show in that new facility, High Point Enterprise editor J. J. Farris claimed, “[W]e hope eventually to be THE Furniture City without territorial limits.” Riding a roller coaster of economic boom and bust through the 1920s and ‘30s, and actually put on hold during World War II when its Exposition Building was placed in service to the U.S. Army, the High Point Market began its rise to prominence in the early post-war years.
From the late 1940s through the 1980s, the Southern Market grew and expanded until it became, as its founding generation had intended, the furniture capital of the world. Welcoming guests from more than 100 countries, it was renamed the International Home Furnishings Market in 1989.
In recent years, the Market has grown to encompass more than 10 million square feet of exhibit space and to serve an average of 80,000 attendees each spring and fall. In 2007, the Market recognized a tradition that dates back to the 1920s by officially changing its name to The High Point Market.
Today, the home furnishings industry is far different from the small, regionalized sector of the economy it was 100 years ago. However, the entrepreneurial spirit that built the High Point Market, combined with a commitment to excellence and determination to meet and overcome all challenges, continues to drive the Market forward as it embarks on another century of innovation.