From Home Furnishing Business
HPMA Readies for Fall Market Amid Growing Demand for Products
High Point Market Authority officials, building owners, and exhibitors are busily preparing for the upcoming Fall Market, scheduled for October 13-21, as consumer demand for home furnishings continues to increase.
The latest Furniture Insights newsletter from Smith Leonard Accountants and Consultants notes, “New orders in June were 30% ahead of June 2019,” and, “New orders were up for 73% of the participants.”
“We have blown away all June-July-August sales records,” said Mac Cooper, CEO for Uttermost. “After a couple slow months in the spring, we are already up for the year, and momentum has never been higher.”
Thibaut’s CMO Stacy Senior Allan echoes the sentiment. “We have seen growth in sales above last July and August, and we are pleased with the rebound since April. We are preparing for a healthy fall.”
Both of these exhibitors plan to show in person at the fall High Point Market, following safety guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NC Department of Health and Human Services, and the #HPMKTsafe Initiative.
“High Point Market is the only US tradeshow where we can connect with our clients and solidify our relationships that we have developed over the years. We love to get direct input from our audience on new products and even designs that are soon to be launched,” said Allan. “We are excited to launch all planned 2020 collections and will be previewing our new tapes and trim offering in our showroom.”
“Given High Point’s layout over 13-city blocks in various different buildings, we are uniquely positioned to be able to follow all of the outlined safety guidelines and still offer the in-person buying interactions our industry desperately needs at this time,” said Tom Conley, president and CEO of the High Point Market Authority. “We are also geographically positioned well, with a large percentage of the industry living close or within driving distance.”
Working closely with state and local health officials, Market Authority officials are communicating the current safety guidelines to building owners and exhibitors through ongoing emails, Zoom calls, webinars, direct calls, and the website.
“High Point showrooms fall under the safety guidelines for retail, so right now, showrooms can be open at 50% capacity,” noted Conley. “The showrooms and buildings will be monitoring their capacity limits closely, and we’ll be doing the same on our transportation systems. Coupled with other safety measures such as required face coverings and daily health checks, enhanced cleaning, and social distancing, we feel prepared for Market to take place safely this October.”
In addition to an abundance of safety measures, buyers attending Fall Market can expect plenty of new product introductions and open showrooms. The recently launched What’s New webpage, www.highpointmarket.org/products-and-trends/whats-new, provides an overview of available new product details, including articles, product previews, and over 500 new product image submissions.
A new filter has been added to the Exhibitor search feature of www.highpointmarket.org to highlight exhibitors who have confirmed they will be open for Fall Market, and only confirmed open showrooms will be filtered to the exhibitor listing in the High Point Market app. Appointments are strongly encouraged for showroom visits, with many exhibitors requiring such.
Beyond scheduling appointments, buyers can find a checklist for preparing for Fall Market at www.highpointmarket.org/HPMKTsafe/how-to-prepare, and an overview of the planned safety measures and requirements at www.highpointmarket.org/HPMKTsafe/keeping-you-safe.
“With the demand for home furnishings currently at record-breaking levels, and given that our industry has not been able to meet for High Point Market since last October, we are thankful for the exhaustive efforts of our state and local health community to help us create an environment in which necessary business interactions can take place safely this fall. It’s vital for moving our industry forward and meeting the current consumer demand,” added Conley.