The following is a letter to First Tuesday Committee members from Kevin Castellani, director of corporate communications at Manwah USA and chairman of the First Tuesday Committee, following reports about Premarket policy changes announced Monday by the chairman of the Premarket sponsors groups and Tom Conley, president and CEO of the High Point Market Authority:
The full text below:
I have received a personal message from some of you regarding the new restrictions for pre-market. I am not sure why any group would back away from a natural development caused by a pandemic. The success of the Pre-market, the introduction of First Tuesday, or the realization that maybe traditional markets could be improved is not negative.
More importantly, the idea that a Pre-Market Committee could create restrictions or dictate how retailers behave is unacceptable. Retailers are in charge of how they buy, when they buy and, who they buy from as this should not be controlled or dictated by a few on a Pre-Market Committee
First, let me say the I am a big fan of the Major High Point Market in both October and April. More importantly, I understand their importance for the entire industry. That being said it does not mean that there could not be complements to these markets such as First Tuesday or Pre-Market.
First Tuesday was created for several reasons:
- Giving retailers an opportunity of visiting with Vendors in a safe and uncrowded environment
- Give retailers an opportunity of meeting with Vendors in a market-ready showroom all year long
- Allow retailers to see new products year-round not just Major Markets
- Allow retailers to see limited new product introduction year round not just major introduction twice a year
- Allow vendors to put into process limited introduction instead of clogging production with too many new products at one time
- Give retailers access to the showroom without the clutter of major market distractions
- Develop R&D here in the showroom instead of the Major Retailers spending time in Asia. This saves time and money for retailers and Vendors
- Most importantly give retailers an alternative to traditions and look for ways to make this industry better
Although travel is now open and restrictions have been lifted it doesn’t mean that someone should make decisions that handcuff retailers. Any decision regarding retailers buying patterns should be up to the retailer, not a Pre-Market Committee
As a First Tuesday Committee, we do have an opportunity to offer retailers options without restrictions. I am not sure if the Pre-market committee believes that retailers will be controlled by a few free nights in a High Point Hotel. However, if that is what drives retailers maybe the first Tuesday Committee should consider that as an option. However, it is hard to believe that Major retailers would now adhere to these restrictions of time and who they need to visit because of a Hotel Room.
I would appreciate your opinion and suggestions and it is important to have a response to this Giant step backward.