April 17, 2024

April High Point Market 2024

Stump M&A Advisory Team at High Point Furniture Market

The Stump team made their rounds at the bi-annual High Point Furniture Market this week. Following a rainy Thursday and blustery Friday/Saturday, the estimated 80,000 attendees had great southern weather to cruise the streets and visit the 2,000+ exhibitors covering more than 12 million square feet of showroom space. 

With the pandemic still visible in the rear-view window, we were pleased to see the market busy and elevators full (institutional knowledge of the back stairwells came in handy this year). We heard some griping about poor calendar planning as many high-end exhibitors and attendees were in Milan for the Salone exhibition, and many sports enthusiasts were in Augusta for the Masters or wishing they were on their couch watching Scheffler’s impressive win. 

We spoke with hundreds of industry leaders and friends, and the challenges facing the industry currently cannot be understated. Many companies are grappling with fundamental business questions and direction. There are certainly some winners in this market - growing and with great margins. Strong players are powering forward investing in people, technology, channel diversification, and more. Weak companies are trying to figure out how to move into a better position to hold out for the return of robust customer demand.


Quote of the Market #1:

“When you come to a fork in the road….take it.” Says Yogi Barra. 


Key Takeaways

E-commerce

We heard of a massive influx of new Asian suppliers showing up on the e-com marketplaces, rendering legacy vendors competing with thousands of unknown companies at extremely low prices.

Tariffs

The 2018 Trump tariffs are ancient history as most importers have shifted to Vietnam, India, or Cambodia. Canada is enjoying protection with their institution of motion upholstery tariffs. Will the USA take this step? Who would champion this effort? And now President Biden is suggesting more tariffs on China. Will this effect furniture?

Hall of Fame

This impressive building took center stage again with the lighting of the Wanek eternal flame and the Paul Broyhill Emerging Leaders awards. What a terrific addition to High Point and a fantastic gathering place for our industry.

Mexico

We have seen several visible exits from Mexico, while others are doubling down south of the border. We continue to believe Mexico has a meaningful role to play in the industry

Interior Designers

There is an impressive cohort of 75,000 women and men leading this growing channel, and furniture companies are working hard to access this group in a cost-effective way. 

Showrooms

We are still seeing a lot showroom movement. ANDMORE is working hard to create density in the under-utilized IHFC building. Right across the transportation terminal, Showplace remains the place to be. We heard many people wondering aloud ‘who will get the Klaussner showroom?!’ Prominently located on the N. Hamilton artery this will be an interesting one to watch. The new Palecek showroom is stunning. EJ Victor is moving to the N. Hamilton area and Stump is working on selling their destination 20,000 sf showroom on Lindsey Street. 

M&A

Lots of deals out there. Many distressed ones. Some fabulous companies for sale. PE funds are starting to eyeball our industry. Asians and European buyers were prevalent this market, as the USA market is better than their own domestic markets. We are excited about this next season of transactions


Quote of the Market #2:

“It’s all demographics. Millennials outnumber Baby Boomers, and we are currently six million homes short. New home formations will surely grow and spur a furniture boom. America will have an amazing 10 year run very soon,” opined a veteran CEO who is doubling down and building capacity. We think he is right.


Let us know your thoughts. 

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