Registration at the fall 2011 High Point Market was up across the board compared to the last two markets, reports the High Point Market Authority (HPMA).
The Fall 2011 Market, which took place Oct. 22-27, had over 75,000 registrants, including over 44,000 buyers. Both numbers were a six percent improvement over October 2010, and compared with April’s market, buyer registration was up four percent and total registration was up five percent.
HPMA also reported a jump in international buyer registration, which was up 13 percent from April. Interior designer registration was also up nine percent compared to April.
Tom Conley, new HPMA President and CEO, says this increase was due to a number of factors.
“Economic numbers were stronger in September, with housing starts up and gains in consumer spending for furniture,” Conley said in a statement. “In addition, many retailers had terrific Labor Day weekend sales, so inventories were depleted. We saw that the appetite for buying was stronger than we’ve seen in recent markets. Business was energetic, and this Market has positioned us well for future growth.”
Several lighting exhibitors say they saw evidence of increased registration in their showroom traffic and order writing. Russ Barnes, Vice President of Wildwood Lamps, Frederick Cooper and Jonathan Charles Fine Furniture, says attendance was way up for his companies’ showrooms in Hamilton/Wrenn, due in part to the Woodman Inn, a new English pub and beer garden in the Jonathan Charles showroom, which Barnes says had a phenomenal response.
“We had a huge attendance increase, and orders written were up double digits,” Barnes says. “It was a great market.”
Terri Thomas says her company, Sedgefield by Adams, benefitted from a new location in the Made in America Pavilion in Market Square.
“The new location attracted new customers that are finding benefit in dedicating a portion of their retail space to working with vendors that are manufacturing in the USA,” Thomas says. “The overall response [to the pavilion] was good. The positive comments from vendors and buyers will be reflected in spring 2012 with additional space added to this pavilion by Market Square.”
Bethanne Matari from Currey and Co. says October’s market left her company feeling very optimistic.
“The market was well attended and buying was strong,” Matari says. “The entire six days were filled with positive energy. Lots of the design world glitterati were out and about at book signings and various special events.”
Caroline Sineath, who works in Robert Abbey's Product Design and Publications department, also reported an upbeat market experience.
“Overall, traffic in the showroom was up considerably,” Sineath says. “We experienced one of the best markets we’ve had in several years.”
The next High Point Market is scheduled for April 21-26, 2012, with registration starting Jan. 3. The Fall 2012 Market will be held Oct. 13-18.