15462 Mon, 10/20/2008 - 12:08pm
HIGH POINT, N.C.–The fall High Point Market opened this morning, still looking for that rebound in the furniture market to kick in.
From all indications, that wait will be a little longer.
At an opening morning press conference, industry analyst Jerry Epperson of Mann, Armistead & Epperson said the furniture business continues to suffer from a tough one-two punch: first the slowdown in the housing market and second, the tightening of the credit market. Both affect the big-ticket furniture business more than any other home furnishings classification.
“The credit problem will be short-lived,” Epperson said, indicating he sees a freeing up by the end of the year. The housing market, however, will remain soft through 2010, he said, when a robust recovery is forecast.
“This is the most challenging time for the industry,” agreed Brian Casey, head of the Market Authority, which oversees the show, “and the level of buying will not be what it has been in the past.”
But Casey said this is still the market where most companies make their major product introductions. “High Point is here to stay,” Casey said.