Even after September 11, 2001, High Point Market went on as usual the following month. The fast-moving spread of COVID-19, however, is a national disaster of a different sort ― and one that has forced the High Point Market Authority to reschedule the April market until June 12 to 14.
The lighting industry, as well as the entire home furnishings sector, like every category of retail (except perhaps grocery stores and pharmacies) has been dealt a devastating economic blow as a result of the pandemic. The postponement of the Spring High Point Market is just the latest in a string of postponements and cancellations of industry shows such as Light+Building in Germany, the Milan Furniture Fair in Italy, LEDucation and the NY Tabletop Show in New York City, the Hong Kong International Lighting Fair, and now the Spring High Point Market in North Carolina.
The announcement came from High Point Market Authority at 6:30p.m. EST today. The organization’s statement read: “Heeding the public guidance offered by NC Governor Roy Cooper, and in the interest of the health and safety of our stakeholders, industry members, and local citizens, the High Point Market Authority has decided to postpone this year’s Spring Market, scheduled for April 25-29, until a later date in early June, should conditions improve.”
“The decision was difficult, as any change in date could have tremendous economic repercussions on our industry and community, as well as the countless small businesses whose livelihoods rely on High Point Market, but underscores our shared concern and well-being of the citizens in our community and our industry partners,” comments Dudley Moore, Jr., chairman of the High Point Market Authority’s board of directors and president of Otto & Moore.
High Point Market has been a staple of the North Carolina economy since 1909. Throughout its long-standing history, cancellation has only occurred once when the 1942 markets were cancelled due to World War II.
“Our board of directors will continue to monitor the situation, and we will remain in communication with the proper medical and elected officials,” says Tom Conley, President & CEO of the High Point Market Authority. “Our aim is to have a decision in early May as to if Market can occur, given the uncertainties of this rapidly evolving situation.”
For the time being, online registration will be postponed, with the plan to reopen once the new plan has been put in place.