25 Years and going: Tupelo Furniture Market kicks off spring event

By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal





TUPELO – There’s a silver lining to the spring Tupelo Furniture Market, which officially kicks off Thursday.
The furniture industry trade show marks its 25th anniversary this year, but TFM owner and chairman V.M. Cleveland said the big celebration will be held during the fall market later this year.
“The market actually started in August of 1987, but we’re going to celebrate our silver anniversary all year long,” he said.
As for the spring market, which runs through Sunday, Cleveland said he expects a good turnout, despite some fears the Presidents Day weekend will keep many retailers in their stores, rather than coming to the market.
“Well, there’s always talk about the dates, but when we go back and look at the history of our market dates in the spring, this has always been about the best time to have it,” he said.
If preregistration is any indication, attendance should be pretty good.
“We’re ahead of last year’s market, which is a good sign of what to expect,” he said.
Prime Designs’ Jerry Marlin was busy setting up the company’s showroom last week and said orders prior to the market have picked up.
“I know we’ll be set up and ready to go,” Marlin said.
Prime Designs is rolling out more color fabrics, plus black and white prints that are catching on with consumers, he said.
“Tupelo’s always been a great promotional market, and I think the dealers will try to make an effort to be here to furnish their stores because of their low inventory,” he said. “But the problem is that for some of the smaller retailers, which this market was set up for, it’ll be hard to get out during what is a busy advertising weekend. And it’s also the middle of tax season.”
At upholstered furniture company Newport, sales manager Drew Daughtery said the company is rolling out “lots of new introductions” in its motion offerings.
Case goods provider Kith anticipates a followup to its successful debut at the fall market.
“We had a lot come together in the beginning, and we were pleased with the turnout at the last market,” said sales manager Brett Tilley.
“We have very high expectations.”
dennis.seid@journalinc.com