Image shows a man standing in front of a furniture showroom
HFA's CEO Mark Schumacher welcomes visitors to the association's upgraded Resource Center at High Point Market

HFA’s Resource Center opens for business

The Home Furnishings Association’s Resource Center opened for business today.

The fall High Point Market began with overcast skies this morning and some uncertainty about the days ahead. The Oct. 13-21 schedule spreads out traffic, and other Covid-related restrictions will hold down attendance. But the sun emerged before noon – and the revamped Resource Center is brighter and more spacious than it was the last time a High Point Market was held a year ago.

CEO Mark Schumacher was on hand to lead staff members in greeting retailers and introducing them to HFA Solution Partners and other vendors. Schumacher was even helping to wipe down surfaces to make sure that safety remains the top priority. Face coverings are required throughout the market, and social distancing is easily achieved in the roomy Resource Center.

The reimagined Resource Center is located in Plaza Suites, 1-527. It includes spaces for more than two dozen vendors, as well as conference rooms, hospitality areas and a solutions center for seminars and larger events. Seminars and other gatherings aren’t possible for this market, and only eight vendor booths are manned. Those are Myriad Software, Furniture Wizard Software, United Steel Storage, Preferred Lease, Guardsman, Podium, Trekstone Financial and Montage Furniture Services.

Some others have displays and invitations for virtual meetings.

[Resource Center offers market opportunities]

Retailers can find effective business solutions

For retailers who want to have productive conversations with providers offering effective business solutions, this more lightly attended market delivers the perfect opportunity.

Evan Faller, director of operations for HFA Solution Partner Furniture Wizard Software, was in a long conference early today with a pair of retailers from Pennsylvania.

Image shows three people having a discussion in a business setting
Evan Faller of Furniture Wizard Software, right, meets with Caryn and Darrell Redick of Timeless Traditions in HFA’s Resource Center.

“I think for retailers looking to take their businesses to the next level, this could be a really good market,” Faller said later. “The slower pace will hopefully allow more time if people need it to review the choices they have when it comes to point of sale, and we look forward to being here to answer questions and help retailers learn about our system.”

There are travel challenges and other concerns as a global pandemic continues to impact the furniture industry. But safety protocols were implemented by the High Point Market Authority in consultation with county and state health authorities, with help from the High Point medical professionals. They include mandatory daily health screenings before anyone can enter the major showroom buildings. Transportation is running, but with limited capacity on each van, bus or trolley. Showroom visits should be scheduled by appointment, although that isn’t strictly required everywhere.

It only takes a few great deals

Attendance is expected to increase during the week, but this market will allow retailers to spread out, cover as much ground as they like and get done the business they need in a relatively short time. For those who come, it can be a successful experience. The HFA means for its Resource Center to contribute to retailer success.

“Yes, we know fewer people will be here at market,” Schumacher said. “However, retailers venturing out and dealing with all the restrictions and concerns are not simply window-shopping. They are here to do business. All it takes to make this a successful market for manufacturers, vendors and retailers are a few great deals. That is possible.”

 

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