High Point, NC – Furniture retail buyers returned to the High Point Market recently seeking products that will lure customers back into stores.
The industry is coming off record sales for 2021 and the first half of 2022 when Americans could not travel and decided to improve their homes or buy a home. Low interest rates enabled more consumers to become homeowners which historically sells furniture.
All furniture product categories sales boomed for 18 months and then interest rates began to rise. The cost of consumer goods increased and the demand for furniture declined.
The April 2023 High Point Market reflected the decrease in demand for home furnishings. Most manufacturers had new products in existing lines but there were few large introductions.
Sales goals were back to 2018 or 2019 levels as company leaders realized the cooling of retail markets. Attendance at market was flat with October 2022 and retailers looked but sales were down.
A positive sign for High Point was “new buyer” registration was up 4.8 percent from last fall, said Ashley Grigg, High Point Market Authority vice president of strategic growth and partnerships, while new buyer registration was up 21 percent from last spring. International attendance was flat from the fall, but up 3 percent from the spring. The largest groups of international buyers were from Canada, Central America, the Caribbean and the Middle East, followed by Asia.
Hooker Furniture unveiled a new showroom and two collections in Oak veneers on solid wood. The 90-piece Modern Mood collection of bedroom, dining room, home office, accent and occasional items was produced with quartered Oak in two finishes: a light pewter hue and a dark brown.
A second introduction was The Retreat collection in flat cut cathedral Oak veneers on Hardwood. It also came in two finishes that showcased the Oak grain.
“These were very popular with retailers seeking a different look,” said Mike Harris, president of Hooker Furniture Cased Goods and Upholstery. “These will sell very well in different parts of the country and are fresh designs in Oak.”
The company’s Bradington Young division had new upholstered pieces manufactured in North Carolina on solid Hardwood frames. The look was retro in styling and color.
Solid Hardwood maker Fusion Designs in Goshen, IN., had a successful market with offerings in Hard Maple, Cherry and Hickory. The Amish company had clean designs in bedroom and dining room that retailers were seeking. Sales met expectations.
Copeland Furniture reported keen interest in its Lisse Collection that was introduced in October. The solid Walnut dining room group has subtle lines with smooth joinery and interior designers were impressed.
A second Copeland group in solid Oak named Iso was designed in a variety of sizes to fit modern dining spaces. The light finish showcased Oak grains and was popular.
Amish companies continue to show at High Point and Millcraft of Millersburg, OH, had a successful market with existing customers. The designs included Hard Maple, Hickory and Elm in a modern traditional style that were favored by retailers at middle and mid-upper price points.
The nation’s largest domestic solid Hardwood bedroom maker Vaughan-Bassett Furniture reported a good market. President Doug Bassett said retailers were seeking a mix of products to excite consumers.
The company added new pieces in its Yellowstone and Artisan & Post collections in solid White Oak and Maple, respectively. The company’s quick ship program continues to boost sales because buyers receive product in 14 days or less.
The next High Point Market is Oct. 14-18, 2023.
Learn more at www.highpointmarket.org.