High Point Market setup underway: ‘We’re the closest we’ve been to normal in 20 months’

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HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — Setup is underway for the High Point Market, which will begin June 5 in the International City.

The event is expected to bring thousands of people to 180 showrooms throughout the downtown area.

President and CEO of the High Point Market Authority Tom Conley said Friday pre-registration is encouraging compared to last fall, but they are not expecting normal crowds.

He says a number of exhibitors and buyers will help bring a much-needed boost for High Point restaurants and hotels.

Randy Wells, with Casa Ispirata and Cavalletto, is a regular at Market. He said eased restrictions mean less focus on social distancing and more on design.

“Frankly if they’re comfortable being here we’ll welcome everyone in here that wants to come,” he said.

Conley says travel restrictions will keep some buyers from making the trip.

“We have exhibitors from Poland, one company that I know of and an exhibitor from Italy, both are going to Mexico quarantining and then coming across,” he said.

He says supply chain issues and raw material shortages may also mean fewer new products for buyers.

“In this business when a buyer walks in to any kind of exhibitor the first two words out of their mouths are ‘What’s new?’ In this Market I suspect this year it will be ‘What’s my order?’ or ‘What can you ship me today?’” Conly said.

Despite the challenges, Conley is ready to welcome back a fixture of downtown High Point.

“I really miss the face-to-face and our industry misses the face-to-face, this is a relationship-based industry,” he said.

Market will run June 5-9.

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