Shopping in Smithfield, NC
PHOTO CREDIT: Martin B. Cherry
From antique stores and mom-and-pop specialty shops to outlet malls offering nationally and internationally known brands, Johnston County's mix of retailers makes it a go-to for great deals, gives residents great convenience and helps the local economy thrive.
For those seeking classic treasures, Selma is the place. Known as “The Antique Capital of North Carolina,” in Selma shoppers will discover over 100,000 square feet of antique stores within walking distance of one another along a charming 1950’s era streetscape. On any given Saturday, multitudes of shoppers from around the state and beyond can be found perusing the streets for bargains.
“I have people coming from as far as Quebec who return every year,” says Donna Reid, owner of Reid’s Country Sampler in Selma for 14 years. “Local merchants also plan special events, like the All American Christmas Festival, to attract shoppers and keep them coming back.”
A small-town atmosphere and strong sense of community allow mid-size homegrown retailers to thrive here – sometimes for many generations – by simply knowing their customers and in turn offering carefully curated merchandise and specialized customer service.
North Carolina Paper Company in Clayton, founded in 1919, prides itself on “offering quality products at reasonable prices in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.” The wholesale warehouse carries a variety of paper and cleaning supplies for food service, while the retail showroom sells cake decorating and candy supplies for professionals and beginners.
“We offer personalized customer service to our customers and appreciate their business,” says Joyce Haynes of North Carolina Paper Company. “I listen to the wants and needs our customers and try to buy products that they can’t find in other stores. I am personally interested in our customers and consider many not only customers but friends.”
Those who love to create handcrafted items can “touch, explore, and be inspired” at Cindale Beads in Smithfield, which stocks tens of thousands of beads and jewelry arts products from around the world in many shapes, sizes, and colors. While the convenient location near I-95 and Highway 70 attracts many first-visitors to the store, owner Allen White says local residents make Johnston County a great place for him to do business.
“In Johnston County, strangers will say hello when they pass you on the street,” says Mr. White. “Business owners help and treat each other with kindness and respect. We make it a point to greet each person with a smile and make them feel as at home here as we do. Our philosophy is we don’t have customers, we have friends that visit.”
There's a place here for nationally known retailers and brands, too. Shoppers find big savings at Carolina Premium Outlets in Smithfield, where 80 stores sell everything from brand-name clothing and home furnishings to unique specialty merchandise. This large, open-air shopping center includes popular stores such as Adidas, Banana Republic, Coach and Carolina Pottery, a 65,000 square foot home decor store.
Other favorites for savings include Carolina Apparel in Selma, a third-generation, family-owned clothing store opened in 1902 that carries brands such as Carhartt, well-known for its quality outdoor clothing and protective work and sporting gear. JR Cigar, also in Selma, is known as “The World’s Largest Cigar Store,” but also sells a wide range of discounted apparel, books, toys, and much more.
People with active lifestyles will find what they need at Soffe Factory Outlet Store in Smithfield, North Carolina’s only retail outlet store that specializes in athletic sportswear for the whole family. Shoppers browse for exercise and fitness clothing, college-licensed sports team apparel, and even dancewear.
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