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From Home Furnishing Business

Hail to Market!


I never aspired to become a writer and sometimes find it difficult coming up with the words to put in my monthly column. However, it’s a duty that comes with being publisher of Home Furnishings Business magazine.

I’ve tried to come up with an angle or story that I can relate to our discussion this month regarding metrics, but my mind and other responsibilities are focused on follow up from the recent High Point Market.

So, I will head in that direction.

I love markets. It’s like going back to school after summer break. I get to spend time with many of my friends who are retailers, service providers and manufacturers. It is also a time where you can make new contacts and form new business relationships. The energy, spirit and vibe of the entire event are enough to recharge about anyone’s batteries. I get to see what many manufacturers have been working on for months, and I love to see what new products they introduce during market. The grand showrooms are immaculate and many of the events are as impressive as the showrooms. The vendors put a lot of time and effort into catered breakfasts, lunches and parties in hopes of getting you to spend time with them.

Our team had a list of 30-plus events that we tried to attend during the five-day market. Some were top notch and some not so much. A couple that stand out are Stanley and Surya. When I arrived at the Stanley event I saw a line half a block long to get inside. The showroom, food, beverages and band were all very nicely done.

The second was Surya. If you’ve not been to a Surya party, well you should. The event they host is arguable the best at High Point Market. The huge showroom was packed with people. I heard discussions in the elevator the next day that more than 2,000 people were in the showroom. Now I can’t confirm this number, but would be surprised if they had less than that. The energy filled the spacious showroom. At one point, I saw a caterer’s table being moved (by party attendees) to allow more space on the dance floor. I literally felt the floor moving under my feet, and I was only one beer deep at that time, so it wasn’t the alcohol. Well done Surya, well done.

I hear talk all the time that we have too many markets and retailer attendance is down. If any of you were with me that night you would think otherwise. I saw the metrics and the fact is, these manufacturers found a way to get a lot of customers in their showrooms. This approach could work the same for you at the retail level. Generating traffic will only increase your opportunity to sell products. 
I know many of you host events in your stores. I’ve seen your pictures posted and information about them on your social media pages. By the way, like us on Facebook, and we will return the favor. Kudos to each of you for hosting events and then promoting them on social media. For those that aren’t maybe consider a customer appreciation day, team up with a local radio station and hold a food drive, give a kid a coat or some type of charity event. What about holding a ladies’ night and host an interior design seminar? Any of these could be excellent exposure for your businesses, show community involvement and provide content for you to use for marketing to you customers. 
We would love to hear your success stories; drop us an e-mail.

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