Premarket exhibitor numbers continue normal track after 2 years of upheaval


ft exclusive buttonHIGH POINT — The 120 exhibitors opening their doors for the High Point Premarket starting on Monday are continued evidence of more normal market cycles, with numbers holding relatively steady for three consecutive Premarkets.

Furniture Today posts a regularly updated list of exhibitors that are planning to be open each Premarket, which is held a month before both spring and fall High Point Markets. These numbers appear to parallel the industry’s course through the pandemic and suggest that exhibition levels have returned to Premarket norms.

This year’s 120 exhibitors are comparable with the Premarkets just before the pandemic thrust reschedulings and closings into the regular schedule.

In the days before the pandemic shutdown, Furniture Today was reporting one of the highest rates of exhibitors ever seen at Premarket, with 99 companies expected to show. Attendance was trending so high that the High Point Premarket committee announced plans to obtain extra hotel space for attending retailers. Twenty-four hours later, FT reported that Premarket was cancelled, although some companies were in High Point as scheduled.

In the spring of 2021, the number of exhibitors hit its peak at 337, in the midst of several First Tuesday events that helped manufacturers and retailers cope with seeing product and placing orders away from the full market crowds and despite ongoing health safety restrictions.

While 2022 numbers were slightly elevated from the exhibitor levels of 2019, they were down dramatically from the 2021 spike. And this year’s first Premarket event, set for Monday and Tuesday, March 20-21, stays the course.

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