10-27-2022 – No economic pinch among furniture market

Posted on: October 27th, 2022 by admin No Comments

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October 27 2022

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BY PAT KIMBROUGH PAXTON MEDIA GROUP

 

HIGH POINT — The High Point Market continued its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and showed no apparent ill effects from recent uncertainty about the overall direction of the economy.

 

The fall High Point Market trade show, which ended Wednesday, posted strong attendance, with buyer company traffic up 8.7 percent overall and international buyer attendance up 45 percent, according to preliminary figures cited by Tom Conley, the president and CEO of the High Point Market Authority.

 

He said 164 of the top 200 retailers sent representatives to Market, as buyers are starting to plan their new inventory for 2023.

 

“We really did well,” he said. “While there’s clearly going to be uncertainty from an economic perspective in the next 12 to 18 months, at least people recognize they’ve got to come to Market. So it’s been good for us, from that standpoint.”

 

While smaller retailers are still having problems with staffing levels and supply chains, Conley said, large companies such as Wayfair sent around 140 buyers to Market.

 

“The big retailers showed up,” he said. “Amazon was the only big retailer that didn’t come. We talked to them, and they decided to take a pass. They’re going to come in the spring.”

 

Conley, who announced his retirement in May after serving as High Point Market Authority president and CEO since 2011, said that his last official day will be Nov. 15 and that he will be retiring to Tucson, Arizona.

 

He said experiencing his last Market has been bittersweet, and he hopes the furniture industry will continue to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Market Authority Chief Operating Officer Tammy Nagem has already been named Conley’s successor.

 

“It’s been a long transition, and the sooner I get out of the way, the better,” Conley said. “Tammy is chomping at the bit to take over. I keep telling her she’s got to get some sleep, but she’s been working really, really hard.”

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