HFA, other groups support fall market schedule

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Image shows a view of the High Point Market

The Home Furnishings Association and two other industry groups today urged their members to follow the High Point Market schedule for October.

The High Point Market Authority in May set an expanded format to spread out attendance over nine days, Oct. 13-21. The schedule accounts for an expected reduction in showroom and building capacity based on federal and state guidelines for reducing spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The revised time frame will divide the market into three segments of three days each. Domestic buyers and industry participants are asked to select a primary attendance period on a regional basis determined by the home state of their company headquarters. Full details for the safe attendance plan may be found at www.highpointmarket.org/covid-19-updates.

This strategy is strongly supported by the HFA, the American Home Furnishings Alliance and the International Home Furnishings Representatives Association. The groups released a joint statement today to officially endorse the proposed nine-day format.

Attendees urged to follow schedule

The HFA, AHFA and IHFRA urge their exhibitor, buyer and sales representative members to:

  • Avoid arriving early to the fall market.
  • Attend only during the nine-day market.
  • Establish fair selling practices to accommodate each of the three buying periods by holding product commitments until the end of market.
  • And set appointments early to facilitate sales representative availability.

“Industry-wide support for the staggered attendance schedule is crucial for keeping all market participants safe and healthy,” said Tom Conley, president and CEO of the High Point Market Authority. “Cooperation is also necessary to ensure equal and fair access to the multitude of product offerings available at High Point Market, and we are pleased to partner with IHFRA, HFA and AHFA with regard to implementation.

Support market goals safely

“High Point Market remains a place for buyers and sellers to congregate, conduct and grow business,” Conley added. “This fall, our top industry associations are in agreement that we will work together to support these goals while ensuring a safe and productive experience for everyone associated with market.”

The April 2020 market in High Point was canceled because of the coronavirus.

When the fall schedule was announced in May, HFA Executive Vice President Mark Schumacher expressed enthusiasm.

‘Loaded with opportunity’

“I think this is loaded with opportunity,” he said. He drew an analogy to furniture stores opening their doors after weeks of being closed by state public health orders during the coronavirus crisis. Customers, many of whom had shopped for furniture online, were ready to buy once they could visit stores again.

“Closing rates will be very high,” Schumacher predicted for business at the fall market.

Schumacher is a liaison member of the market authority’s board of directors.

[HFA COVID-19 Recovery Resources page]

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