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The Broyhill family is planning a re-entry into the furniture business with a line of furniture from the Custom Sofa Gallery operation.


The Broyhill family, long known for furniture manufacturing, is using this week's International Home Furnishings Market in High Point to launch a major re-entry into the furniture market.

The family has opened a new showroom in High Point and is planning to go nationwide with a new line of furniture from its Custom Sofa Gallery operation, headquartered in Lenoir, according to Paul Broyhill, chairman of the family's furniture interests.``We are now establishing a nationwide sales force to give us nationwide coverage,' Broyhill said.

Under the name of Custom Sofa Galleries, Broyhill's expansion marks a full-fledged re-entry into the furniture market. The family sold Broyhill Industries Inc. in 1984.

The family now owns a furniture manufacturing operation, which services a chain of eight Custom Sofa Gallery retail outlets.

The company produces about 36 styles of sofas, love seats, chairs, sofa-sleepers and swivel rockers.

Broyhill - along with his son, Hunt Broyhill, and cousin, Tom Broyhill - want to capitalize on the success of those eight stores by implementing a national marketing strategy.

``This is a rather exciting time for us,' Broyhill said. ``We spent a year getting organized and we are now in position to open.'

Although recent economic conditions, especially in the furniture industry, have led to cautious planning, Broyhill said his family has always ``tended to expand when times are slow.'

For starters, the family recently purchased a building in High Point to showcase merchandise.

In fact, an 8,000-square-foot showroom in the building is displaying the family's Custom Sofa Gallery line at this year's market, which began Thursday.

The family's newly renovated and modernized showroom facility, Broyhill said, is a High Point landmark located on Market Square. It was built in 1929 and was formerly part of a railroad complex.

The company currently operates a 48,000-square-foot plant in Lenoir, but plans to construct a manufacturing facility on a separate tract in the city.

While Custom Sofa Galleries currently has about 75 employees, Broyhill said the company hopes to employ more than 100 workers within a year.

Eventually, Broyhill hopes to expand the family industry to employ 200 to 300 workers.

In addition to a new showroom, the family has also purchased a condominium in Market Square Towers overlooking Market Square in High Point. The condominium will be used during the spring and fall furniture markets.

Broyhill has been attending furniture markets regularly for the past 44 years. But with the recently announced expansion, this year's market will be a little different.

``I've been going to markets at least twice a year since 1948,' he said. ``It's sort of exciting starting over.'


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