Signs of stronger economy seen at High Point Market

Oct. 29, 2013 @ 08:36 AM

The High Point Market, the largest furniture trade show in the world, was a resounding success last week, local representatives of several manufacturers said Monday, attributing much of the good news to the economy recovery's promise of higher sales.

Kincaid Furniture had its best introductions at the market in years. said Max Dyer, vice president of marketing. The company saw a 6 percent increase in traffic to its showroom compared to last year's October show, slightly more of an increase than the market as a whole saw, he said.

"Kincaid had a very good Market," Dyer said. "We had great reception to the new introductions that we brought out," including a "revamp" of one of the company's longest-running domestic groups, which is made in Hudson. Kincaid also introduced three solid-wood collections using maple, cherry and New Zealand pine.

Attendance seemed higher compared to previous markets, another sign of the improving economy, and buyers are feeling more confident, said Holly McLaughlin, who works in merchandising and product development for McCreary Modern. The company showcased its upholstery and leather products, as well as outdoor furniture, which McLaughlin described as a hit.

Fairfield Chair had introductions in every category of its line, vice president Alvin Daughtridge said, with new chairs, sofas and case pieces, and that "style trends are certainly going toward the transitional stye." Fairfield was pleased with the results both in written orders and attendance, he said.

"I think we're in lockstep with both the industry and the consumers," he said, adding that the domestic business continues to grow and respond with the economy.

The market is "moving in a positive direction, as it has for the last several markets," he said, with each event getting stronger since the recession.

The High Point Market draws more than 75,000 visitors twice a year to see the exhibits of more than 2,000 exhibitors across more than 11 million square feet of display space. It is not open to the public. A Duke University study estimated it has a $5.4 billion impact on the regional economy.