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From Home Furnishing Business

High Point Hoopla

Make the most of the Fall Market by discovering, connecting and learning.

by Sheila Long O’mara


Welcome to the  Fall High Point Market. Central North Carolina can be quite beautiful this time of year as the fall foliage starts to change and cooler temps roll adding crispness to the air. And of course, it means the Market is here.

Time to refresh store merchandising with the latest home furnishings designs. Time to reconnect and catch up with industry friends. Time to swap ideas and strategies to boost business. Time to participate in a seminar or three to improve your marketing, logistics, sales or social media prowess.

We tend to think of the New Year or spring as times for new beginnings. Thankfully, the market cycles of our industry deliver a chance to freshen up every few months.

Take advantage of all that Market has to offer while you’re weaving your way through showrooms, seminars and socials. There’s a lot to be uncovered in 11.5 million square feet scattered among 2,000-plus exhibitors in 180 showroom buildings.

From my showroom tours of premarket and the Casual Market Chicago, exhibitors have a wealth of new product to showcase.  Some of it is quite lovely while some misses the mark.

Please, allow me to preach for a bit.

I saw a lot of sameness from showroom to showroom, leading me to believe the herd mentality of our industry is alive and well.

For years, it seems as if a collection becomes a breakout success on retail floors, the next Market is flooded with similar looks.

Let’s be honest. In all reality, how many Restoration Hardware lookalikes with “dry finishes” can one retail floor hold? I’d be willing to say not as many as manufacturers are currently funneling into the marketplace.

All done.

This season brings with it a cadre of  names from fashion, design and the music  scenes. EJ Victor and Jaipur will unveil collections with Kate Spade, while Hooker Furniture is featuring Cynthia Rowley.  Designer and HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” host Joanna Gaines has teamed with Standard Furniture for a collection, and country music singer Eric Church has partnered with Pulaski Furniture for a collection.

Exciting looks are out there. Seek them out and bring them to life on your retail floors to set yourself apart in your market. Make the looks your own and continue to wow consumers with exceptional service, design expertise and  professional delivery.

Do me a favor.  When you discover new product at Market that strikes your fancy, pop me a tweet @sheilalongomara or @hfbusiness. I’ll be on the prowl for great things, too, and I’m happy to share. Not on Twitter? Feel free to e-mail me at

Here’s to a great Market filled with great discoveries.


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