Virginia Furniture Market plans biggest store yet in Christiansburg – Roanoke Times

CHRISTIANSBURG – Virginia Furniture Market is expanding into the New River Valley with its largest store yet, joining the increasingly crowded retail corridor along North Franklin Street.

The $5 million project will be the eighth location for the growing Rocky Mount-based chain, but the first west of the Roanoke Valley.

VFM President Joel Shepherd said the company already makes deliveries to the region multiple times a week, so the new store should have a customer base to tap into from the start.

The store will sit on a now vacant 11-acre parcel adjacent to the Christiansburg Home Depot on Farmview Road.

At 60,000-square-feet of retail space, it will be larger than VFM’s flagship store in Rocky Mount. Shepherd expects the location to employ more than 20 people. If the store performs as expected, the company has already submitted plans for a 20,000-square-foot phase II expansion.

“We think we’re at a point where we’re poised for significant growth,” Shepherd said. “It’s exciting for us to get to apply all that we’ve learned to a new location.”

The expansion comes as VFM turns 20 years old, but continues to morph to keep up with the times.

Shepherd said the business has expanded its online presence and shifted stock to keep up with changing preferences.

The company started as an offshoot of Blue Ridge Antique Center in Franklin County, which is also owned by Joel and his wife Ann Claire Shepherd. It expanded into children’s furniture in 2003 and dedicated mattress stores in 2016.

VFM now has locations around Rocky Mount, Roanoke and Lynchburg. But Joel Shepherd said it’s still the kind of business where his personal cell phone number is listed on the back of every company business card and sales contract.

“We’re about as home grown as home grown gets,” Shepherd added.

The New River Valley is already a crowded furniture market, with a long list of competitors within a two-mile radius of the new location: Grand Home Furnishings, Welcome Home Furnishing, Schewel Furniture Company, Target, Big Lots, Mattress Firm, Pier 1 Imports and Aaron’s.

The new VFM will carry the company’s full stock of living room, dining room, bedroom, office and outdoor sets. It will also have dedicated sections for mattresses and childrens’ furniture.

Shepherd said the large store format offers an advantage by expanding selection, while cutting overhead costs. 

“We’re comfortable being among other competitors,” Shepherd said. “I think what our goal would be is to put forth an offering to customers that’s compelling. We’ll trust the customers to make that choice.”


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