Early numbers based on registrations show traffic is still down from pre-pandemic levels, but things are moving in the right direction
HIGH POINT — Market attendance improved from this past October and appears to be inching closer to pre-pandemic levels.
According to figures released at Wednesday’s Market Authority meeting, attendance from individual buying companies as of late Tuesday was up 3.3% from October and down 19.2% from the fall of 2019.
Attendance from individuals, also as of late Tuesday, was up 4.4% from October, and down 17.2% from October 2019.
These figures are based on pre-registrations and on-site registrations at market. Actual attendance figures will be released in the next several weeks.
“I didn’t think we would come back this far and fast,” said Tom Conley, president and CEO of the High Point Market Authority, noting that the figures represent upward momentum in attendance compared to earlier in the pandemic. “It is nice to see people coming back, and people seem to be excited to be coming back.”
The number of buying companies internationally is up 35% from the fall, although this is coming off a small number as international attendance generally represents about 10% of attendance overall.
Many international buyers also have not been able to attend market previously due to travel restrictions during the pandemic.
During the meeting, officials also noted that major retailers came back in force. The numbers shown below are estimates from each company.
+ For example, Rooms to Go had 10 buyers here two markets ago. There were more than 60 registered for this market.
+ Lowe’s hasn’t had buyers here for two previous markets but had more than 40 registered buyers this time.
+ Overstock.com, which had not registered for four markets, now had an estimated 20 registered buyers.
+ Target, not here for two markets, had about 15 registered buyers.
+ Macy’s, which came to Premarket, had about 26 registered for this market.
+ Amazon, absent for two markets, had about 30 buyers registered.
+ Williams-Sonoma, not here for two markets, had about 15 buyers registered.
+ Wayfair, not here for four markets, had more than 250 individuals registered.
+ Furnitureland South had close to 70 buyers registered.
“We are seeing the retailers come back, and that, in combination with the growth of the designer traffic, is really adding to it,” Conley said.