The High Point Market opened April 19 as officials hope that the housing market recovery would result to high demand for furniture and give the market a sustainable economy. The High Point Market is the world’s largest trade show for residential home furniture. Around 70,000 to 80,000 manufacturers and buyers converge during the event.
Officials are aware that optimism doesn’t translate post-market. Orders usually decline or went unfilled due to buzz kill factors such as tight consumer spending, higher energy prices, slow-to-recover US housing market, and price deflation.
The market is the main economic catalyst of the estimated $8 billion annual contribution by the furniture industry. Forsyth County also benefits from the market due to the spillover at restaurants and hotels. Davie County got a $80 million manufacturing and distribution campus by Ashley Furniture Industries, which is the largest furniture manufacturer and retailer in the United States. It promised to create up to 550 jobs in the location.
Industry officials said there are several reasons to take a half-full prospect for the trade show in spring, which is usually the larger of the industry’s two yearly events. The reasons included retail furniture sales in March increasing 2 percent compared to the previous year at $8.11 billion and the higher monthly orders for home furnishings in recent months.
March sales were better due to the delay in federal tax refunds that spilled over into the month. Mattress sales also rebounded after the unusual weak December to February period. Retailers were encouraged to spend more on advertising in March.
Tom Conley, president of High Point Market Authority, said he has heard encouraging words from buyers and exhibitors with regards to the uptick in consumer demand. He said that things have already improved over previous years and enough to predict a very strong market in the next couple of months.