Furniture Buyer: Business Is Up 50 Percent

10:36 PM, Oct 16, 2012   |    comments
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High Point, NC -- Twice a year, High Point grows by 75,000 people during furniture market. But could this year's Fall Furniture Market be a sign of good things to come?

Even though Furniture Market attendees spend money on restaurants and hotels, lately, furniture business has been a bit deflated because customers weren't buying.

Furniture seems to be a pretty good economic indicator because it shows just how much disposable income people have.

On Tuesday, News 2 found some retailers are seeing a turnaround, which could mean good news for our job market.

"We're actually feeling a bit of a turnaround in our industry. We're starting to see clients wanting to spend more money. They want to update their homes. They want to get something fresh in their homes," said Keith Redding, an interior designer from Florida who has been attending Furniture Market for 24 years.

Redding says his business has increased by 50 percent in the last year.

However, it's a catch 22.

Redding said he's found that manufacturers are not boosting production to keep up with his business. In fact, he's had clients waiting five and six months just for fabrics and furniture to come in.

Some manufacturers are starting to feel the new demand.

There's parts of our business that are working 40 hour work weeks, which is good. We are hiring leather cutters, sewers, and framing," said Len Burke, Vice President of Marketing for Klaussner Home Furnishings based in Asheboro.

Burke also said that more buyers are realizing they don't have to wait as long if they order products made in the USA instead of overseas.

According to Burke, there's another noticeable sign of improvement. He said since the recession, manufacturers were playing it safe with timeless colors and patterns to appeal to budget conscious customers. Now, they're starting to see color and style come back.

"A lot of people are very optimistic. But at the same time, we're kind of holding our breath," said Redding.

Other manufacturers said they're just not ready to hire because there's too much uncertainty. They want to see what happens in the election first.

Market organizers are still registering market-goers. So we won't get a snapshot on attendance until next week.

WFMY News 2

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