Politics meets market
U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan’s visit to the new Stanley Furniture showroom and corporate headquarters downtown became a real-time blend of business and politics this morning.
As the first-term Democratic senator from Greensboro toured the complex at 200 N. Hamilton St. that Stanley is unveiling for the spring High Point Market, sales representatives for the furniture company escorted customers from retail stores and other buyers through the several levels of the 70,000-square-foot building.
A Stanley salesman touted a children’s Young America bedroom collection to several customers as company President Glenn Prillaman escorted Hagan through the colorful series of model bedrooms. One display of children’s furniture featured a wall of watercolor drawings created by boys and girls in Robbinsville, the far western North Carolina community where Stanley employs 350 workers making the Young America collection.
Hagan praised Stanley for the company’s decision to relocate its corporate headquarters from its longtime home in Stanleytown, Va., to the showroom district of High Point.
“The High Point Market is growing and expanding,” Hagan said during a brief press conference in the center of the showroom complex.
High Point economic recruiters want to use Stanley’s decision to relocate here as a recruiting tool for other home furnishings companies.
“Having such a prominent furniture company choose to move its headquarters to downtown High Point should gain the attention of other furniture companies,” said High Point City Councilwoman Becky Smothers. “We would anticipate that other furniture companies will consider the merit of moving their joint headquarters/showroom facilities to this important area of High Point.”
Stanley is bringing 42 new jobs to the city and adding more than $4 million to the local tax base, said Loren Hill, president of the High Point Economic Development Corp.
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When she was a state legislator last decade, U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan played a key role in setting up the High Point Market Authority and securing state money for the trade show. Hagan, who was a state senator and once represented High Point in the N.C. General Assembly, co-sponsored legislation that created the Market Authority 12 years ago. The Democrat from Greensboro upset Republican U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole in the November 2008 general election.