For more than 40 years, the mission of Darrell (b. 1943 d. 2014) and Stella (b. 1945 d. 2015) Harris has been to provide a world-class shopping experience for quality home furnishings through a commitment to excellence, and integrity in value and service. Guided by principles of respect, responsibility, trust and empowerment, Furnitureland South has grown from a one-man furniture sales operation to the world's largest retail home furnishings showplace, an international furniture destination and an industry standard.
In 1969, the business started with just a few catalogs and samples, and one old truck. Mr. Harris sold, delivered and serviced the furniture, while Mrs. Harris handled the administrative duties. In 1977, they purchased their first retail showroom, a 17,000-square-foot store. The company continued to expand, and in 1990 relocated and consolidated all operations from central High Point to their current location on Business I-85. In 1999, Furnitureland South made history with the opening of a 500,000-square-foot store and an iconic world's tallest highboy on the façade. Today, Furnitureland South boasts 1.3 million square feet of showroom space, representing more than 500 name-brand manufacturers and spanning a broad spectrum of both design and price points. The retailer has shipped approximately $2.7 billion in home furnishings to consumers in the United States and more than 50 countries.
Darrell and Stella Harris have focused on adding value for the consumer and were early pioneers in moving from warehouse-style displays to styled vignettes. As the company has grown, they have added shopping amenities for their customers, including a full-service restaurant, a coffee house, and a shopper's lounge. They were among the first to add a "green" furniture gallery and to promote sustainable practices.
Philanthropic projects through the years have included the Alzheimer's Association, American Red Cross, Brenner Children's Hospital, Greensboro Urban Ministries, Green Street Baptist Church, Habitat for Humanity, High Point Christian Academy, High Point Community Foundation, High Point Open Door Shelter, High Point Women's Shelter, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Leslie's House, Meals on Wheels, Christmas Senior Adoption Program, North Carolina Baptist Children's Home, Operation Angel Tree, Ronald McDonald House, Salvation Army, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Victory Junction Gang Camp, and the Wounded Warrior Project. They post Amber Alerts on their highway signage to help locate missing children and have furnished a home on Extreme Makeover Home Edition.
In 2010, Darrell and Stella Harris were inducted into the American Furniture Hall of Fame.