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From Home Furnishing Business

UNCG Students Unveil Proposals for Universal HQ Renovation

Universal Furniture welcomed more than 30 students from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to its High Point showroom last week as the culmination of a contest for interior architecture students to create a winning design for Universal’s corporate headquarters renovation.

“With the evolution of our brand and product offering, we wanted to better connect what happens in our showroom and website with our employees on a day-to-day basis,” said Universal Furniture Director of Marketing Neil MacKenzie. “And we’d been looking for a way to connect with the student design community not only for a project partnership, but also as a way to build a pipeline of talent for the company.”

Under the direction of UNCG Assistant Professor Stoel Burrows and Visiting Assistant Professor Sabrina Frey, interior architecture majors toured Universal’s corporate headquarters on Penny Road in late August and heard from CEO Jeff Scheffer and MacKenzie about the company, its direction and its goals for an office makeover.

“Our business goal is to attract and retain customers, and attract and retain top talent,” said MacKenzie. “And we need a corporate space that reflects that goal.”

After months of study and planning, 17 student teams presented their space, color and furnishing plans to Universal’s marketing and design staff on Friday, Oct. 21, the day before the official opening of the High Point Market.

Throughout market, interior designers from around North America voted on their favorite plans. The winning design will be announced Nov. 1.

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