Tips & Insights

Later Can Be Better

Savvy shoppers share reasons for starting Market Week on Monday

By Robert Bell, Editor, RetailerNOW

For retailers and designers who can’t make it to the first two days of High Point Market, Donna Lane has a message: Relax, there’s no rush.

Lane, the CFO of Elements of Style in Greensboro, NC, loves the last days of Market. The crowds are a little thinner, but the showrooms and deals are still there for retailers and designers who might not be able to get away from their jobs over the weekend.

“To me, that’s when you can really take advantage of what Market has to offer,” Lane says. “You get to meet more people you might otherwise not meet the first two days. Things are just a little looser, more casual in the showrooms. It’s not as sales-y. It’s the best time of Market.”

Nancy Walker of Lemontree Home Décor in Henderson, NV, agrees. “You get the best of everything,” she says. “The showrooms are a lot less packed and you can sit back and talk to your rep on a more personal basis.”

Another benefit: Because many people have already headed home, hotels and restaurants are suddenly available on Monday and Tuesday. “The prices drop on rooms and you can actually get something to eat without having to wait 45 minutes,” says Walker. “For some people it just makes better sense to show up a little late.”

That’s the message Tom Conley is trying to get to retailers and designers who might otherwise not be able to pull away from their jobs over a demanding weekend. Conley is president and CEO of the High Point Market Authority and has seen the two different sides to Market: the fast-paced, hectic environment over the weekend and the laid-back version that starts Sunday afternoon and lasts until the final day.

“It’s really never too late to come,” says Conley. “The showrooms and manufacturers are still around. Once the weekend is past, we think it’s a great time for smaller retailers to drop in.”

In fact, smaller retailers are already taking Conley’s advice. According to 2014 Market statistics, the Monday after the weekend crush was when most retailers with less than $5 million in annual sales volume initially checked in to Market.

Conley encourages smaller retailers and designers – especially those who are within driving range of High Point – to reconsider coming if they can’t leave their jobs over the weekend. “Nobody’s going anywhere,” he says. “We’ll be here waiting for you.”