After initially postponing its Spring Market until June, the High Point Market Authority has announced that it will cancel the event.
“We’ve been listening to our stakeholders, members of the design industry, our local community and the government over the past few weeks and there’s an overall uneasiness about going forward with a Market in June,” Tom Conley, president and CEO of the High Point Market Authority, told Business of Home. “We also have a sense that, even when stay-at-home orders are lifted and businesses reopen, large gatherings and events will be the last thing to come back. It made sense to pull the plug sooner rather than later.”
Already the June event was likely to be a much smaller showing, between visitors who would decide against attending and showrooms that had scaled back programming or decided not to open their doors at all. With supply chains disrupted worldwide, some brands were unsure they’d be able to get their new products to North Carolina in time for Market, even in June.
“While our hope was that restrictions enacted in March would improve the situation enough to allow for a June show, it is clear now that such is not the case,” Dudley Moore Jr., chairman of the High Point Market Authority’s board of directors and president of Otto & Moore, said in a statement. The move follows the cancellation of Salone del Mobile in Milan, which had also originally been scheduled for April before being postponed to June. The HPMA will now focus all its efforts on Fall Market, which is still scheduled for October 17 to 21.
Conley says that he hopes designers and exhibitors can find alternative means of connecting between now and the fall event. Using their digital channels, High Point Market will work with brands to promote the product launches that were meant to debut at the spring event and plans to create a special section of its website dedicated to those new lines.
“This was an extremely tough decision,” says Conley. This will mark the first time that the 111-year-old High Point Market has been canceled since World War II, a signifier of the gravity of the move. “We hope that everyone who’s ever attended or wanted to attend High Point Market will consider coming in October,” he adds. “We want it to be the best Market we’ve ever had.”