Registrations Drop At High Point Market
For the second year in a row, politics may have hurt registration numbers for High Point’s furniture market.
Market officials were nervous about last year’s spring attendance, which started not long after the passage of HB2 - North Carolina’s so-called “bathroom bill” that among other things limited discrimination protections for LGBT people.
Attendance declined by about 1 percent, but it wasn’t clear how much of an impact the law had on that figure.
This year, the legislature repealed HB2. But another political controversy emerged earlier this year when President Trump took action to limit travel from several predominantly Muslim countries. The courts blocked the measure, but concern about international travel swirled for weeks ahead of the market.
Registrations for spring slipped by about 5 percent compared to last year, from more than 79,000 to about 75,000.
It’s still not clear if market factors or politics played a bigger role in the decline. The twice-a-year market has an estimated economic impact of about $5 billion across the region.