Board members of High Point Market Authority agreed this week's show attendance was flat, with heavier traffic on Monday and Tuesday, the third and fourth days of the show.
One bright spot appeared to be a significant increase in Canadian retailers - many of whom had shopped the Las Vegas Market instead of High Point in recent years.
Some exhibitors are still having trouble attracting buyers from small and medium-sized stores to their showrooms, but Market Authority President Brian Casey pledged to continue to develop marketing efforts to attract such retailers to future markets. "In a lot of ways, the independent retailer has become king again," said Market Authority Chairman Kevin O'Connor.
Casey told the board his staff will target independent retailers through more extensive use of social networking and communication with sales reps, who provide the impetus for dealers to come to market.
"It's critical for us to communicate with (sales reps) about the strength of this market and the importance of coming here," he said. "And we hope they will take that message to their customers."