A review of our trip to the Furniture Capital of the World

This past weekend we traveled to North Carolina to celebrate my grandmother’s 90th birthday. North Carolina is the manufacturing headquarters for many major American furniture brands such as Broyhill, Hooker, Thomasville, and our favorite Bernhardt. While we were there, I was very excited to visit the outlets and furniture mega stores that earned High Point, North Carolina the title of Furniture Capital of the World. 

Inside the Showroom at Furnitureland South
Inside the Showroom at Furnitureland South

Before visiting, I requested a packet of information from the High Point Visitors Bureau. The information packet included a map and list of furniture sellers with very vague descriptions, a brochure about other attractions in the area, and several advertisements. It wasn’t very helpful for trip planning. Instead, I primarily relied on an article in USA Today from 2017 to guide my planning. 

Our goal was to take advantage of the manufacturer’s outlets. We were looking for good deals on well-made furniture. After all, we have a wonderful designer who knows our style and budget and can pick out great full-priced furniture. So I did my best to take advantage of the one day we had set aside to do discount furniture shopping.

Hickory

Because our favorite furniture maker (which we found through our designer) is Bernhardt, we decided to first visit their outlet in Hickory, North Carolina. Hickory was about an hour and twenty minutes away from our final destination in High Point, but worth the detour in our mind. We were impressed with the Bernhardt outlet, but unfortunately didn’t find anything that met our immediate needs. We felt there was a good selection and the prices were reasonable for the quality of furniture. 

Shopping in Hickory, NC

Although it wasn’t in my original plan, we also visited the Kincaid and Century furniture outlets because they were located right next to the Bernhardt outlet. The Kincaid Outlet was nicely done, but not quite our style. The Century Outlet was a bit smaller and unorganized and we didn’t find anything there either.

Our final stop in Hickory was the Hickory Furniture Mart. The furniture mart was massive. It was so large that you could easily become overwhelmed. The furniture mart contains both full-priced furniture sellers and a few outlets. We were primarily interested in the outlets. We considered purchasing pieces at both the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Outlet and the Heritage Furniture/Hooker Factory Outlets. The prices were reasonable and there was a decent selection but again nothing was quite right. We also visited the Hickory Park and Vanguard Outlets but the prices were still quite high (e.g. a $3,000 console table).

High Point

After lunch we made the trek to High Point. The most iconic store here is Furnitureland South. They claim to be the world’s largest furniture store, and at over one million square feet across three gigantic buildings, I believe them. Despite their impressive size, we left feeling disappointed. I would not recommend Furnitureland South to anyone seeking good deals on furniture. Instead, if you have loads of money and want to work with one of their designers (whom you just met and whom has never seen your home), then this is the place for you.

Shopping in High Point, NC

Furnitureland South has an outlet store, but it was frustrating and very expensive. I found a single ornate armchair marked $8,000. The other very frustrating part about the Furnitureland South Outlet is that you must purchase all pieces in a group. For instance, if you need just a single armchair but it is grouped with another armchair and a couch- you would have to buy all three pieces. Not only did this not meet our needs, it felt unscrupulous because most designers will tell you the number one design mistake most people make is to buy sets of matching furniture. 

We left the Furnitureland South Outlet with a bad taste in our mouths. We visited the other two buildings as well and they had a lot of beautiful, full-priced furniture – some of which was insanely expensive. The designer that greeted us when we entered explained that on a scale of 1-10, they sold furniture that was in the 4-10 range. Each building has multiple floors; the Mart, which grouped furniture by type, and the Showroom, which group furniture by brand. 

Other Outlets in High Point

Although we were disappointed with the extensively promoted Furnitureland South, we wanted to visit some of the other outlet stores found in the High Point area. Based on the map that I had received, we decided to visit Furnishings 411. The brochure indicated that they specialized in market samples and I read a blog online endorsing this store. However, it was closed when we arrived. The brochure and website clearly listed the hours as 9am-5pm Monday-Friday, but the store was not open. It was also easy to miss because of the poor signage.

We made two final stops in High Point before throwing in the towel. We visited the High Point Furniture Sales Clearance Center. It was very small and quite awkward. You have to walk through office space where people were working at their desks to get to a small warehouse space with very limited furniture. We were able to view all of the furniture in about five minutes. They encouraged us to visit their full-priced store. 

Finally, we stopped at the Furnitureland on Main store. This is an extension of Furnitureland South, but at actual outlet prices. There were several nice pieces at reasonable prices. In the back, they also have a building marked Salvage. It is a scratch and dent store with some very steep discounts. 

Overall Experience

All in all, the trip wasn’t very successful. I certainly wouldn’t visit Furnitureland South again, but if I lived closer I would stop in at some of the outlets from time to time. If I had it to do over again, I would have prioritized the individual furniture maker’s outlets( such as Theodore Alexander, Dynasty, and French Heritage) over the larger stores. The individual outlets we visited had the best deals and selection. 

If you can’t make the trip to North Carolina, you should check out any local furniture outlet stores. We have had pretty good luck at our nearby outlet stores. I have a listing and description of several of the local furniture outlet stores we regularly visit in one of my previous posts.

Have you been to Hickory or High Point for furniture shopping? What was your experience?

I am so glad you visited us at Jack and Bax. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter (sign up available either on the right sidebar or at the bottom of the page). And please follow me on Instagram and Facebook so that you don’t miss any of my upcoming projects!

4 thoughts on “A review of our trip to the Furniture Capital of the World”

  1. I’m not sure when you went to Furnitureland South but you don’t have to buy the whole group of furniture in the outlet anymore. I was just there a few weeks ago… There are a very few sets that come as a group but most can be split apart in their outlet and you can haul them ASAP which is a nice advantage especially now with long wait times thanks to COVID. We love going there but it can be overwhelming and you have to know name brands and what your looking for. There’s so much to explore in HP and we are still learning too.

    1. Hi Rebecca! Thanks for the update. I was there in July 2019, so it has been a while since my visit. I am so glad to hear that they are allowing the purchase of individual pieces from the outlet. That makes so much more sense. I’m not sure when we will make it back down to High Point again, but we will definitely give the outlet another shot when we do.

  2. Admiring the time and energy you put into your website and detailed information you provide. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed material. Fantastic read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top