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Thread: Spring High Point Market for April CANCELLED / POSTPONED

  1. #1
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    Default Spring High Point Market for April CANCELLED / POSTPONED

    Due to the Coronavirus crisis, the High Point Market that was set to run end of April has been cancelled with talk of perhaps doing it in June. This is going to pose a significant hardship on furniture companies, as they have already finished up their new items, planned their showrooms and put in many hours of work into this structure. The High Point Market is a big deal. They get hundreds of orders from dealers who buy their floor stock at Market after seeing the new items. That's all evaporating as well. With the stock market gyrations and Covid-19 fears, most people are not anxious to buy non-essentials right now such as new sofas / recliners, etc. and dealers will not be buying new inventory. We in the industry experienced this after 09/11 and also the 2007/08 Recession and it was hard times. The fact it's also a Presidential election year doesn't help, either. Uncertainty affects consumer spending. Many dealers went under, and several manufacturers as well.

    I've been doing this a long time, since 1986. Thirty-four years. To that end I have sent out suggestions to some of the manufacturers I represent to see if they will consider a temporary price reduction in their products during this pandemic. A lot of people will be staying at home the next several weeks and it's pretty easy to shop from home on a lot of these pieces with samples sent to your home via mail, and delivery companies will bring your new furniture to you. With the loss of orders from the Market being closed, I am hoping they will consider it to keep their people working. We saw layoffs before, would be nice to avoid that.

    We all know you need and incentive to make a purchase right now - I'm trying to work on that for everyone. Stay tuned.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    Default Re: Spring High Point Market for April CANCELLED / POSTPONED

    Hope they listen to you. We have been looking at nicer leather furniture and shocked at some of the prices from a couple of years ago. Did the tariffs do this?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Spring High Point Market for April CANCELLED / POSTPONED

    No, the tariffs are mostly gone now, it's mostly work force costs and materials. A couple of things at play in the past two years are the fact there is ZERO qualified labor pool in the furniture-making area of Hickory/Thomasville/Taylorsville area. They simply cannot find good employees not only in furniture making, but also trucking. It's a real problem and my freight costs to land a piece are about 20% higher than a year ago, because no one wants to be a truck driver. With health care costs and the high cost of salaries, they have to pay the craftspeople more to retain them at the furniture companies, too. Leather is the single most costly thing materials-wise on upholstery, the second most expensive item is the foam - which is oil-based and driven by oil prices and transports costs. As oil prices rise, so do price increases because of foam. And remember too, that leather is a natural product of the cattle industry. If ranchers are not raising cows, there is a leather shortage. It's all highly complex and margins are thin. Now that oil prices are down, there may be some breathing room at the manufacturing level.

    I have not written a single order in a week. I know if I'm not writing them, other stores are not either. When people get scared (Coronavirus) and the stock market becomes flaky, discretionary items suffer in sales. Sure, everyone buys essentials, but the items that can be put off buying - ARE. Unless of course, there are incentives. Those of you that recall 09/11 in 2001, well, it just pulled the rug out of sales almost 19 years ago. It hit the car industry very hard and what they did was begin offering 0% financing, which stimulated sales. Up until that time, I don't recall ever seeing that and I thought it was brilliant as a marketing technique. We in the furniture industry had no such response and just suffered through the lull.

    In the Recession of 07/08 there were layoffs at the furniture factories, a lot of them. There was simply not enough business to keep the work force going. This could happen again, right now. I don't think anyone is rushing to buy non-essentials right now and are putting things off. Some incentives would hopefully increase some interest and maybe the money that was going to be used for that cruise will go for a new 65" TV and a new sofa. We will see.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
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    49

    Default Re: Spring High Point Market for April CANCELLED / POSTPONED

    Quote Originally Posted by MJS20 View Post
    Hope they listen to you. We have been looking at nicer leather furniture and shocked at some of the prices from a couple of years ago. Did the tariffs do this?
    Yep, last 2 years H&M increased prices by 3% each year. I was looking to buy a sofa, extra chair and a boot stool and got quote of $910 for the boot stool (from the local dealer). So, while we are quite happy with our recently bought H&M furniture we decided to postpone all the purchases. Having 200 peopled laid off in the January from our office (out of 500) in Bay Area did not help either.
    Last edited by Eastbayguy; 03-14-2020 at 11:46 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Spring High Point Market for April CANCELLED / POSTPONED

    The Spring Market in High Point, which was originally to be this month in High Point, was pushed to June. That has now been cancelled as well an they are looking to the October Market. I'm not sure that is going to fly either, as the news tells us today that we can expect another surge on Covid-19 in the Fall together with Flu. The Furniture Market is very crowded and lots of hands on lots of things. I doubt I would risk getting sick for a look at new furniture, and I suspect I'm not the only one.

    Dealers are not going to have any money to buy new inventory as sales right now have slowed to a trickle. Their showrooms are not be moving product off the floor so they won't have space even if they did have the cash to buy.

    I'm hoping this industry (furniture) will respond in new ways to either get customers more confidence to shop at home or look to enhance the buying experience in a world of Coronavirus. I'm not entirely sure anything new will come of it however, this has always been an industry that responds to new ideas with "Why, we've never done that before, I don't about that but thanks for the suggestion."
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

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