Business & Economy
3:45 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

High Point Market Gets Underway

A picture of High Point Market.
One of several showroom spaces at High Point Market.
Credit High Point Market Authority

The High Point Market kicks off Saturday.  It’s the largest home furnishings trade show in the world.  Dignitaries and celebrities will make the rounds.  U.S. Senator Kay Hagan and Governor Pat McCrory will "do market" this spring.  McCrory will meet with more than 40 furniture industry leaders who recently sent him a letter in support of funding for the High Point Market Authority.  A budget proposal released earlier this month showed significant cuts to the market authority.

Tom Conley, president and CEO of the High Point Market Authority, says he’s glad the governor reversed course.

“He’s coming just to make sure that all of the people that signed that letter understand that he’s serious about supporting the market and supporting the market authority," Conley says. "He assured us that when we met with him in Raleigh."

Between 75,000 and 80,000 people from around the world are expected at market.  Food Network star Paula Deen will host her Great Party Challenge and the Temptations will perform.  Conley says the market is becoming more like fashion week.  There's a lot more color, and he says designers and buyers are showing up in big numbers this year.

“More importantly I think are some of the reports we are getting from a micro economic standpoint," he explains.  "The strong housing numbers, very strong numbers in terms of retailers and decorators looking to really come to this market and make some purchases."

Security will be tightened this year at the market in response to the bombings at the Boston Marathon.