Space nearly gone for spring furniture market

tupelo_furniture_marketDaily Journal

Tupelo Furniture Market officials said they’re running out of space for February’s spring market. It’s the third straight year that exhibition space has become a premium at the 2 million-square-foot market.

The improving housing market is one of the main drivers behind the increase in demand, officials said.

“Most people don’t think about the fact that the furniture industry is directly linked to the success or failure of the housing market,” said Debbie Henry, TFM’s sales director. “If houses are not selling, people are not buying furniture either. When consumers are not buying, our business feels the impact.”

In addition, the market changed its approach to recruiting, working more closely with exhibiting companies. Asking exhibitors who they wanted to see in their showrooms and creating special packages were among the steps the market took to generate interest and attendance.

“We began selling our new clients a package of benefits that included built-in marketing tactics that would help attract new buyers to our event and specifically to their exhibit space location,” Henry said. “This allowed both of us to derive success from our business relationship.”

Tupelo Furniture Market President Kevin J. Seddon said the staff can’t call every company in every country that sells furniture and furniture accessories, so the sales process begins by targeting companies they believe can enjoy success at the Tupelo trade show.

“For us, fortunately, our event of late has been successful for a wide range of companies selling many types of furniture and home accessories at every price point,” he said. “Collectively, Mississippi manufacturers’ ship more upholstered furniture than any other state in the country. And, the state ranks third in the U.S. in total shipments of all household furniture. So, we start selling locally. However, we have companies showing in Tupelo from throughout the United States so our next step is to target those companies that we believe are a good fit for our event and then work with them as if we are an extension of their marketing department. Thus far it has worked well and we intend to step up the effort.”

Last week, market officials said about 10,000 people had preregistered for the spring market.