High Point is a city located in the Piedmont Triad region of the State of North Carolina. As of the 2010 census the city had a total population of 104,371, with an estimated population of 108,629 in 2014. High Point is currently the ninth-largest municipality in North Carolina.
High Point is known for its furniture, textiles, and bus manufacturing. The city is sometimes referred to as the “Furniture Capital of the World”, a title long challenged by Grand Rapids, Michigan; its official slogan is “North Carolina’s International City” due to the semi-annual High Point Market that attracts 100,000 exhibitors and buyers from around the world. The phone area code is 336.
It is home to three universities: High Point University, a private Methodist-affiliated institution founded in 1924, and South University as well as Laurel University, a private interdenominational Christian university.
Most of the city is located in Guilford County, with portions spilling into neighboring Randolph, Davidson, and Forsyth counties. High Point is North Carolina’s only city that extends into four counties.
Among the first Europeans to settle Guilford County were Quakers and German immigrants. High Point was located at the highest point of the 1856 North Carolina Railroad between Charlotte and Goldsboro where it intersected the 1852 Great Western Plank Road. Its central location and transportation allowed for the delivery of raw materials like cotton and lumber and processed goods in and out of the city and contributed to its early growth. Settled before 1750, High Point was incorporated in 1859. Before it became a major manufacturing center, the most important industries were tobacco, woodworking and textiles. The first of many High Point furniture factories was opened in 1889.
Once synonymous with furniture, hosiery, and Hatteras Yachts, High Point has diversified its economy as a center for distribution and logistics, customer service, banking, manufacturing, photography and pharmaceuticals. The High Point Market remains a centerpiece to High Point’s economy and the city’s most recognized industry. Its bi-annual trade show is the largest furniture and furnishings industry event in the world. It is held in April and October of each year. Approximately 12,000,000 square feet (1,100,000 m2) of showroom space is used by 2300 exhibitors, in 188 separate buildings. Over 100 countries are represented through both vendors and visitors.
The High Point Market has been noted for being a significant part of the region’s larger furniture “cluster”, which was discussed most recently by sociologist Richard Florida and initially by economist Michael Porter. The Market and its effects on the city have also been the focus of an extensive case study by urban sociologist John Joe Schlichtman. In this research, High Point’s ability to capture the global furniture merchandising market is said to signal a new era in what is possible for small cities. Along these lines, Schlichtman terms High Point a “Niche City”, which is “a city that forges global centrality by creating an economic specialization in a specific segment of the global service economy.” In 2005, High Point adopted “North Carolina’s International City” as its official slogan, emphasizing the role of international business and especially the High Point Market (formerly called the International Home Furnishings Market), the largest furnishings industry trade fair in the world.
Since 2005, the High Point Market has been receiving increasing competition from the huge World Market Center project in Las Vegas, which, if fully built according to its multi-stage plan, is slated to exceed the High Point Market in square footage. In February 2011, speculation developed that Las Vegas World Market Center interests were positioning to purchase a controlling stake in the High Point Market. If this speculation is correct, World Market Center interests would control 64% of the square footage in downtown High Point.
Take the time to visit High Point North Carolina and enjoy all the fabulous shopping it has to offer.