With Cautious Optimism, High Point Market Delayed Until June
The High Point Market Authority is moving the start date of the spring furniture market.
Last spring’s market was delayed until June with the hopes that the COVID-19 outbreak would be under control by then. It was not, and the market became the first to be canceled since World War II.
This year, another June start date is planned. But with a promising vaccine on the way and encouraging words from health officials, market leaders say they’re looking to get back to business under better conditions.
“We are encouraged by the recent headlines about COVID-19 vaccines, but realistic about its impact on a spring timeframe, as the rollout will be slow,” says Tom Conley, president and CEO of the High Point Market Authority. “Coupled with the reality within our industry regarding supply shortages and manufacturing/shipping disruptions, the board of directors agreed it would be most beneficial to delay spring market until June.”
The spring market is typically an April affair. Shifting it to early summer gives more time for the rollout of the vaccine. North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen has said that it probably won’t be ready for wide distribution in North Carolina until springtime.
“The City of High Point is an avid supporter of High Point Market and the Market Authority’s strategic oversight of the city’s largest economic driver,” says High Point Mayor Jay Wagner. “Being able to successfully and safely execute fall market was a vital boost for many of our local businesses in the midst of a tough year. We fully support this effort to shift spring market, recognizing that it will provide more time for the pandemic situation to improve and, hopefully, allow for more visitors to get back to High Point come spring and support our local businesses.”
The 2020 fall market opened under health precautions that included extra days to allow visitors to come in phases and limitations on showroom density. The result was a smaller crowd with fewer international visitors.
In recent non-pandemic years, the twice-a-year market has had an estimated annual impact of about $6 billion.