The Dichotomy of Markets
High Point, NC - What strikes me as I review High Point Market for the third day is how uneven traffic flow has become at any market, not just High Point, between the haves and the have-nots.
The haves being the companies that consistently offer newness, innovation and excitement motivated and inspired by and responsive to designer and consumer needs and wants.
Here at this show, these include first and foremost furniture resources Hickory Chair Co., Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams, Baker, Ferguson Copeland, Theodore Alexander and E.J.Victor which can always be counted on to light your fire. They not only hire or license top talent, but they also support outsiders' inspiration and the kind of creativity that helps their business flourish.
A second tier of Honorable Mentions: Stanley, Schnadig, Raymond Waites for Lane Venture, Tommy Bahama for Lexington Home Brands, Habersham, Century and Bernhardt regularly rise to the occasion with new and interesting introductions at almost every market. Also at every market, these leaders garner the lion's share of traffic.
In the accessory field, you can safely bet on Global Views, Palecek, Curry, Tozai and Frederick Cooper to supply the design oxygen. In rugs, it's the .likes of Safavieh, Jaipur and Surya.
On the other side of the spectrum, you have the have-nots whose showrooms are yawningly empty or peopled sparsely or only occasionally. You could walk in blindfolded and know that what is lacking is not just traffic but ideas and innovation - the lack of compelling design, lack of a concept, lack of understanding of who their customers might be all raises the question why they are still in the business of producing "casegoods," a fitting description if there ever was one for products that are mere boxes without a soul and nothing more than containers for stuff.
The names of the have-nots are being withheld to protect the ignorant, but you know who they are. If you don't, their empty reception desks cruelly tell their story.