• Thomas Russell

200 Steele showroom expands

Century Furniture to occupy building starting in April 2018 after 34 years at Market Square

HIGH POINT — RHF Investments, the parent company of the Rock House Farm umbrella of brands that includes Century Furniture and several other high-end furniture companies, is expanding the 200 Steele showroom in High Point by about 100,000 square feet.

The expansion, which started in February and will include three floors of about 34,000 square feet each, will bring the showroom to just over 300,000 square feet. It will also create a new home for Century Furniture, which will occupy the facility in time for the April 2018 High Point market, after about 34 years at Market Square.

Century will occupy about 41,000 square feet of the new space, which includes the entire second floor of the expansion as well as some additional space it will occupy in the existing building.

Sister company Highland House, also located in Market Square, will occupy about 10,000 square feet of space on the first floor of the facility.

200 SteeleExpansion of the 200 Steele building in downtown High Point began in February and is expected to be completed by April 2018.
Rock House Farm Parent RHF Investments purchased the building in 2015 as part of its acquisition of Hancock & Moore and Jessica Charles. Both brands also occupy 200 Steele and are not expected to move.

Alex Shuford III, CEO of Rock House Farm, said the expansion represents an investment of nearly $8 million.

He said Highland House will move into the building this fall, while Century will be in by April 2018. Century will temporarily occupy the Speer Collectibles building at 520 North Hamilton during the October 2017 market. This April market will be its last at Market Square.

Century’s new showroom at 200 Steele will be about 30% smaller than the nearly 60,000 square feet it has occupied at Market Square over the years.

While the showroom is smaller, Shuford said it will be a better utilization of space for Century. He said the way the company shows product today is also different from years past.

“Generally, we feel the way High Point functions now is that it is not necessary to have these enormous showrooms,” Shuford said. “You can operate more efficiently than you have in the past. What we show is more configurable and more options-oriented, instead of the days of suited-up case goods.”

In the past, Shuford went on to explain, the company would also show each piece in more than one finish available in a collection. Today, the finish options are not shown on every single item, but rather on a selection of pieces displayed in a vignette, or room setting that doesn’t require as much space in the showroom.

“Buyers are more involved in tailoring the product for their needs and their floor instead of having it lined up and buying it as shown,” he added.

While he said Century has been pleased with its Market Square location for a long time, Century President Jay Paschall believes the move to 200 Steele will be good for the company.

“It is a great location and a great building,” Paschall said, adding that the layout also “will be more conducive to displaying furniture.”

Thomas RussellThomas Russell | Associate Editor, Furniture Today

I'm Tom Russell and have worked at Furniture/Today since August 2003. Since then, I have covered the international side of the business from a logistics and sourcing standpoint. Since then, I also have visited several furniture trade shows and manufacturing plants in Asia, which has helped me gain perspective about the industry in that part of the world. As I continue covering the import side of the business, I look forward to building on that knowledge base through conversations with industry officials and future overseas plant tours. From time to time, I will file news and other industry perspectives online and, as always, welcome your response to these Web postings.

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