High Point Furniture Market

It's that time of year again.  It's Furniture Market time.   To be more specific this week is the the semi-Annual High Point Furniture Market in High Point, NC.  For those of you not working in the Home Furnishings industry, I will explain what "market" is.  It is an event that is held twice per year (April & October) and all of the Furniture Buyers & Designers from the U.S. (and international as well) come down to High Point to check out the new introductions from the manufacturers.  The town of High Point has building after building with multiple floors of showrooms.  It's like one giant mall with showroom after showroom of furniture manufacturers showing their goods.  This year marks the 100th Anniversary of Furniture Market in High Point.

Last October I worked High Point market, but this year I will be staying back home "holding down the fort" so to speak.  I work for a Sales Representative that reps for several furniture manufacturers.  In short, we sell the furniture to the furniture stores.  I found working market to be very fun, educational, rewarding, tiring, and exhausting.  Our job is to work our respective showrooms and meet our customers and potential customers.  We then take them through the space and show them our new intros and help them to build a line-up for their floors.  We are in the spaces for 10-12 hours per day followed by wining and dining clients in the evening.  Like I said it is definitely exhausting, yet so important to do.  October Furniture Market can set the tone for the following year and in this economy that is so important to do well.

It has been a hectic few weeks around here preparing for market.  It is necessary to contact all of our clients as well as potential clients and make appointments to see them at market.  It's definitely quite a job, since there are over 2,000 vendors at market.  And trust me, they are all trying to get the buyers and designers into their showrooms.

Kristen at Boulevard Interior Design wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about the flip side of market.  She is a Designer, therefore she attends market as a buyer and tries to visit as many showrooms as she can.  I think it must be more exhausting for her since she is going from building to building and showroom to showroom.  Whereas I am simply working one or two showrooms the entire time I am there.

Dont' get me wrong, market can be exciting too.  I love seeing all of the new furniture and accessories that will be hitting the stores in the Spring.  I love meeting our clients, many of whom I know only as a voice on the other end of the telephone.  Also to enjoy are the dinners and free concerts for market attendees.  Last October market attendees were treated to a private Peter Frampton concert and last July at Las Vegas market we were treated to a free, private concert by Rod Stewart.  Yes, that's correct, there is a furniture market in Las Vegas too, but that will have to wait for another post.

Now before you get too excited and decide to hop in the car for a road trip to NC, I must tell you that market is not open to the general public. Everyone in attendance must have either a buyer's pass or a vendor's pass.  I know, I know, it sounds unfair doesn't it?  You will just have to wait until early Spring to see the new offerings for 2010!

How about you?  Have you been to market?  As a buyer or a vendor?  I'd love to hear your stories.

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  1. Sounds like fun. I owned a gift shop for several years and our major markets were in Chicago and Atlanta. I went as an owner/buyer with my husband and my parents. We had such fun. I miss market much more than I miss owning the shop. We were wined and dined in each showroom, went to evening parties and tried to second guess what would sell in 6 months. It was exhausting. Work didn't stop after the hours of walking...we had to go back to the hotel and decide what we would order. I still loved every minute.


  2. I have always done market as a buyer specifically attending gift markets in January (Dallas) to purchase for the following Christmas. Our store beautifully decorated 8-9 trees each holiday season and we wanted the best pick for the upcoming year. We would also shop for the upcoming spring. It is exhausting and the miles one walks in a day is unbelievable to say the least but also very fun and inspiring. The ideas and inspiration one gets from the beautifully decorated showrooms always create a renewed energy when getting back home to the shop.