Fall High Point Market Attendance Down 35% from Pre-COVID Levels

High Point, NC, October 26, 2020-Early estimates from the High Point Market Authority show market traffic through Monday was between 35% and 40% of what it was last fall, making turnout at the nine-day event better than expected for many exhibitors.

Taken largely from data from on-site scanners, the 35% estimate is based on attendance by individuals at market compared with October 2019. The 40% estimate is based on the number of companies here this market compared with last October, which officials said was the highest attended market in the past 12 years.

According to data provide to the market authority, attendance from the West Coast was the lowest-as anticipated-at 25% from last year, while the Midwest and Southwest were better than expected at 34%. Attendance from the Southeast, mostly drive-in traffic that included buyers from North Carolina and Virginia, was the highest at 50%, while traffic from the Northeast was 28%.

Officials attributed the low attendance from that region to quarantine restrictions in several Northeast states. In addition, North Carolina was considered by 11 states-including nine east of the Mississippi-to be a hot spot for COVID-19 cases.

Market authority officials reported that protocols-including social distancing and the wearing of face masks-received very little push back from attendees. 

Of the attendees, some 17 reported they had symptoms, and one of those was COVID-19 positive.