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Thomas Russell

Opening day attendance strong at High Point Premarket

 At a Premarket social event Thursday evening at the Grandover resort in Greensboro, N.C., are Steve Kincaid, left, Kincaid Furniture; Larry Klaben, Morris Furniture, Dayton, Ohio; Bill Kimbrell, Star Furniture, Houston, and Matt Huber, Belfort Furniture, Dulles, Va.At a Premarket social event Thursday evening at the Grandover resort in Greensboro, N.C., are Steve Kincaid, left, Kincaid Furniture; Larry Klaben, Morris Furniture, Dayton, Ohio; Bill Kimbrell, Star Furniture, Houston, and Matt Huber, Belfort Furniture, Dulles, Va.

HIGH POINT — A number of exhibitors at this week's Premarket said the opening day Thursday yielded strong attendance that they hoped would continue into the final day today.

Steve Kincaid, president of case goods and upholstery manufacturer Kincaid Furniture, said he had been concerned about attendance at the event because it's taking place on a Thursday and Friday schedule, a change from the usual Monday-Tuesday schedule.

However, he said the dates have not appeared to hurt attendance or registration thus far. He said the company expects to see 50 to 60 accounts over the two days, about the same as other recent Premarkets.

As a company that produces much of its case goods and upholstery domestically, Kincaid said the event is helpful in that it can offer suggestions for some final tweaking of product before next month's market. He said that this week, the company is showing about 90% of the case goods and upholstery it plans to show in October.

Based on attendance on Thursday, officials at bedroom manufacturer Vaughan-Bassett said they were expecting 60 to 70 accounts in over the two days, which is on par with the 68 dealers the company saw at Premarket in March.

"This has gotten to be very important to us," said Doug Bassett, chief operating officer. He added that 19 of the showroom's 20 room settings are set up, making it 95% ready for October.

Hooker Furniture also has most of its case goods here this week that it plans for the October market, ranging from Estate, a 60-plus piece whole home collection, to individual pieces in its Melange accent furniture group. Company officials continue to be pleased with the event, noting that attendance will equal that of recent Premarkets.

"The audience here is our target audience," said Ray Harm, Hooker's senior vice president of sales.

Many exhibitors said they're hopeful that recent retail sales activity - and the turnout at Premarket - would bode well for the Oct. 13-18 High Point Market as well as for fourth quarter sales.

"There have been more positive signs since Labor Day than I can recall in a while," said Adam Tilley, vice president of product management at Stanley Furniture. "Now we just need to see it translate into orders."

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