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HPM positioning itself as important to Canadian furniture resources and retailers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael J. Knell   

HIGH POINT, North Carolina (17 April 2012) - The semi-annual markets held here are becoming increasingly important to Canadian furniture retailers, interior designers and decorators, second only to the Canadian Home Furnishings Market, figures released by the High Point Market Authority (HPMA) seem to suggest. What's more, it seems retailer attendance here is growing with each market.

According to HPMA, some 1,787 Canadian retail buyers - representing 834 companies - attended the October 2011 edition of the market. That's more than the 1,592 who attended the April 2011 market.

"It has increased market to market over the last decade particularly," HPMA vice president of marketing Cheminne Taylor-Smith told Home Goods Online, "as we have focused strong marketing on the important Canadian retail arena."

ImageThe authority also says, on average, some 1,000 Canadian interior designers attend each market - a number that has also grown in the past decade. HPMA attributes this to their work with organizations such as the Interior Designers of Canada. "That number also is increasing market to market," Taylor-Smith noted.

The Quebec Furniture Manufacturers Association (QFMA), owners and operators of TCHFM, held in Toronto every January, have not published attendance figures in some years. However, industry insiders estimate that 2,300 or so retailers from across Canada attend TCHFM on average each year. However, attendance is skewered towards Quebec, Atlantic Canada and Ontario, outside of the Greater Toronto Area.

According to Statistics Canada, there were 4,191 furniture stores operating in Canada at the end of 2010. Of these, approximately 3,214 were independent owned and operated.

It should also be noted the organizers of the Las Vegas Market also don't publish Canadian attendance figures. However, Canadian LVM exhibitors place the number at about 250.

HPMA also says most Canadian retailers who attend High Point regularly, go to both the April and October events - neither is weighted over the other.

With a total of approximately 2,800 Canadian industry professionals attending each market, this makes Canada's the second largest delegation - behind that of only the United States. According to the HPMA web site, some 80,000 attendees journey here for each market - of those 10% come from outside the U.S. This means Canada accounts for 35% of all non-U.S. market attendance and 3.5% of overall attendance at any given market.

"Canadian retailers find great value in attending the High Point Market because it is a one-stop shop for everything in home furnishings," HPMA president and CEO Tom Conley said in a statement.

"We have tens of thousands of products in every style, price point, and category that a retailer sells. And we offer top educational opportunities, new business ideas, and the latest consumer research," he continued, adding the authority has worked to make attending market cost-effective, citing their partnership with Star Alliance to offer a 20% discount on fares from Air Canada.

"The Canadian retail market is important to us, and we strive to make a trip to the High Point Market as successful and profitable as possible for retailers and designers," Conley said.

Image
Tom Conley
Canada is probably contributes the largest non-U.S. delegation of HPM exhibitors. According to the HPMA web site, a minimum of 67 Canadian firms - excluding the Canadian branches of the major mattress makers and furniture resources such as Furniture Brands International, La-Z-Boy and Ashley - will show at the upcoming spring market, which opens for its six day run on Saturday (click here to see HGO's list of Canadian HPM exhibitors.)

Also missing from this list are Canadian technology firms such as ViewIt Technologies and 20-20 Technologies.

In all, HPMA estimates there are some 2,000 exhibitors showing at each market, scattered across some 180 buildings and 10 million square feet of display space.

The spring edition of the High Point Market opens Saturday and continues until April 26. The fall edition will run from October 13 to18.

The market's web site is located at www.highpointmarket.org.

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