Hot Topics: How to Market to Gen X and Gen Y, High Point Furniture Market

Yesterday at High Point Market I sat in on a great “hot topic” seminar delivered by Storis Corporation at the National Home Furnishings Association (NHFA), which is a great find at Market for anyone in this business and in retail.

The subject: Marketing to Gen X and Gen Y’ers.

Now I ask you, “Why you should care?” … Well as a “boomer” who also has heard a lot on this subject already, the message was still compelling.  I must say that I truly enjoyed hearing the presenters’ thoughts and seeing the data!

While many have made points about these generations throughout the years, the differentiating factor is technology and how these generations are literally incorporating it in to every facet of their lives and decision-making. While the presenter made the point that these “kids” are becoming Baby Boomer Mom-Dad-Grandparents’ tech navigators and consultants (a thought I find scary), there is a lot of truth to this premise. This is what makes the study of Gen Y’ers and Gen X’ers so fascinating!

I encourage all retailers to start the engagement process with these “friends,” and find out how they can serve you while you are serving them.

If you are planning to stay in the retail business for the next 5 to 10 years, these generations are your future. Meet them where they are hanging out….on Facebook and Twitter, of course!

While you can engage with them “on location ” at these spots, don’t expect them to leave for long to visit your website unless you have given them an authentic reason to “click and travel” and made it easy for them.  Your “Reason” might be a coupon, a contest, an entertaining video, or simply comprehension of their stated needs with an authentic solution. This is after you are deemed credible and likeable in their eyes and have earned your “Facebook Friend” stripes!

Making friends and effective relationship marketing in today’s world has definitely taken on a new dimension!  It involves engagement and interaction how, when and where your audience wants it… including with tech-savvy Gen X and Gen Y’ers.  Retailers who grasp the opportunities are going to be huge beneficiaries.
Reporting “live” from High Point North Carolina, the home furnishings capital of the world.

Hot Topics: Made in the USA- High Point Home Furnishings Market October, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011
High Point Furniture Market

HOT TOPIC – Quick Market Glimpse Reveals the following:
Made in the USA is back by popular demand!

In my opinion, this trend is driven by the following and is here to stay:

(1)The overarching fear of more job loss coupled with the fact that Americans are realizing the best place to find a helping hand is “at the end of your own arm.”  Big corporations do not hire the vast majority of Americans… small business does… and while big corporations are outsourcing work overseas, Small Business America is hiring and producing right here at home!

(2) The realization that along with the “good cheap stuff” consumers love, there is also a U.S.  marketplace replete with imports of poor quality and defective materials. Even food ingredients that have landed here from off-shore markets for consumer consumption have been questionable. (I reference infant formula and pet foods as 2 notable cases.) Another example in the home building business is toxic drywall.  Sick yet?

(3) The realization that we  always were and can remain innovators! Americans really make something here that has more intrinsic value!

Note: Monday High Point Market Reveals that “Sustainable Fashionistas” are demonstrating this market sustainability through regeneration of fabrics into clothing. Big event tonight sponsored by DeStripped Magazine will showcase the local designers who are innovating and regenerating. Good on them! Go to Market Square Courtyard tonight at 7 to 9 p.m. and join in with innovators who have a unique, creative spark!


Marketing Home Furnishings Reporter-On the ground in High Point Market!


High Point Home Furnishings Show – WITHIT ‘Best Of Market’

Hot Topics At High Point International Home Furnishings Show, April 5th

“Best Of Market Scoop”
WITHIT Market Intelligence Wrap Up

WITHIT Market Wrap Up in Outer Limits Furniture showroom at High Point Market

Waiting for WITHIT's Market Intelligence Wrap Up at High Point Market hosted at Outer Limits Furniture

High Point Market guests were in for a great treat Tuesday night as Women In The Home Furnishings Industry Today “unpacked” the Best of the Best that Market had to offer. During the evening, WITHIT members and Guests alike shared what they saw, heard and liked during Market.

Taking the lead in the discussion was Ellen Gefen of Ellen Gefen Productions, a home furnishings reporting company.  Ellen has covered the International Home Furnishings Market for the CBS MORNING NEWS and NBC’s WEEKEND TODAY, reporting on styles and trends in the home furnishings industry and offering tips for the consumer on smart furniture buying.

Attended by retailers, designers, manufacturers and industry business leaders, WITHIT’s Market Intelligence Wrap-Up is an event not to be missed each Market. Packed full of tidbits and the “Best of Market Scoop,” attendees get a chance to find out if there are “hot topics” they missed during their own Market navigation. Of course, since getting around this mega market is a huge time sink, no one can be everywhere all the time. WITHIT’s market intelligence powers up the collaborative eyes and ears necessary to identify the “Best of the Best.”

Tricia Bellocci, Outer Limits and Daniel Silva, Temahome sponsor WITHIT Wrap

Tricia Bellocci, Outer Limits Furniture and Daniel Silva, Temahome, Sponsors of WITHIT Market Intelligence Wrap Up

Owner-designers Mike and Tricia Bellocchi of Outer Limits, 220 Elm in High Point, hosted the Market Intelligence Wrap in their lovely showroom, where they feature modern furniture. Outer Limits Furniture is a 20 year old, custom upholstered furniture design company whose cutting edge designs successfully represent the epitome of modern American furniture design.

Also sponsoring the event was Daniel Silva of Temahome – sleek, modern, inspiring and exclusive stylish design furniture and home decor by top European designers, made in Portugal.

Mega thanks to our most generous hosts and sponsors!  See you at WITHIT’s Market Intelligence next year!

So…do you want to know the market scoop?  If so, contact the lovely Sara Lyke, Executive Director of WITHIT – Women In The Home Furnishings Industry Today at and get involved in WITHIT!

Thanks to Linda Carey, Live from High Point!

Linda Carey of Marketing Home Furnishings and Vibrant Business Today, LLC has been a WITHIT member for 10 years. She has served as the Northwest Regional Vice President and on the Board. She is “Withit!”