As we have previously mentioned, WPL Interior Design makes our way to High Point, NC for the High Point Furniture Market twice every year. The HP Market is the largest in the world with 180 buildings, 12 million square feet of showroom space, 75,000 attendees, over 2,000 exhibitors, with 100+ countries represented. The manufacturers represented produce furniture, lighting, rugs, art, accessories, and many other categories like faux floral arrangements. There’s no question about it, we love to shop at High Point Furniture Market! And this week we are discussing why these wholesale sources are so much better than retail establishments.
The Largest Selection
What the general public sees in retail stores is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to design products; It’s only 10% of everything being produced around the globe. With over 2,000 exhibitors, there is nowhere on earth where you can find more products in one location. The variety is like none other. If you can’t find what you want in High Point, it probably doesn’t exist.
We have purchased from many retail sources over our 37-year history and, with a few exceptions, we have often been disappointed. The quality of the products produced for the retail establishments is not the same as those created by High Point exhibitors. Be careful about where your products are sourced as they may contain formaldehyde and a vast number of toxic chemicals. Retail stores have “knock-offs” that are reverse-engineered and lesser quality items that cost very little to produce. This is how the retail stores pay for all their overhead. Imagine what it must cost large retail warehouses to produce all those catalogs and open 90,000 square foot stores; the consumer is the one who pays for all that! In addition to the lack of quality, at least 50% of orders from retail stores come in wrong.
The Best Value
Retail establishments may be less expensive than some High Point suppliers, but the quality is not the same. As the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” Nowhere is that truer than in the interior design business. Buying items in stores like Arhaus, West Elm, or Pottery Barn is like buying perfume. The actual cost to produce the perfume is pennies on the dollar. After they put it in a fancy bottle, market it, and sell it, the price is hundreds of dollars! The retail stores are like that; you may find a product that is the same from a High Point vendor, but it will cost two or three times more. At High Point, there is less of a mark-up because you’re getting a product directly from the source. That means our clients not only get the best quality, but they also get the best price!
We have often said that the retail and wholesale experience is night and day. The sales representatives in High Point are professionals who have been in the industry for decades. Retail stores often have a very high turnover and they don’t have the expertise of a career sales rep. This creates a difficult situation for designers. We have spent countless hours fixing wrong orders. When your salesperson in the retail stores changes every time you go in there, it can be very frustrating. We have received shelving units with missing shelves, barstools that don’t match, drawers that don’t fit…it’s a nightmare! These problems can be a budget breaker for our clients. You are better off buying quality products at a higher price; what you get will last a lifetime.
High Point Market = The Standard
Now you know why WPL Interior Design looks forward to observing new trends and to shop at High Point Furniture Market. The interior design field is like the fashion or the restaurant industry. You can buy something at the Gap or buy couture from a famous designer. The quality increases with the price level. You can go to eat at McDonald’s or a fancy restaurant. The quality increases with the price level. You can shop at Home Goods or IKEA, or you can use a designer and get better products. The quality increases with the price level. The bottom line is you get what you pay for!