Fall furniture market deemed success

TUPELO – Don and Clarissa Russell opened their furniture store in Corning, Ark., last year, and for them, the Tupelo Furniture Market has been their primary source for getting inventory.
“They have everything,” said Don Russell of the market. “We like the town, the people and the market, and it’s only four hours away from us.”
The Russells were among the many buyers, dealers and retailers who visited the fall market over the weekend, helping to make what many exhibitors said was a very good market.
“Overall, it was probably the best market of the past five we’ve had,” said TFM owner and CEO V.M. Cleveland. “We had some retailers here. It gave us something to build on. Everyone I’ve talked to said they were pleased with the market.”
Lane Home Furnishings President Greg Roy certainly was happy.
The company showed for the first time in Tupelo last August, and Roy said this year’s turnout was even better.
“We were a little ahead of a year ago, and to me, that’s a win-win situation for everybody,” he said.
Lane sold out of some items, including some closeout fabrics and products it was heavily promoting.
Roy said a couple of large retailers came to Tupelo – including Nebraska Furniture Mart – that didn’t go to the Las Vegas Market a couple of weeks ago.
A large number of buyers representing the nation’s biggest retailers were in Tupelo last week. In fact, Furniture Today editor-in-chief Ray Allegrezza said he saw more “Top 100″ buyers in Tupelo than he had seen in quite some time. Furniture Today publishes an annual “Top 100″ list of the largest furniture stores by volume.
“I think that’s significant for Tupelo and represents an opportunity for them,” he said.
Among those finding opportunity at the market has been Sonny Cassady, of Cassady Closeouts. The Virginia-based company buys closeout merchandise from several manufacturers and also produces furniture from a factory in Houlka.
Cassady has been showing in Tupelo for 20 years and said he had a strong fall market showing.
“We had a lot of pent-up demand for product, with everybody low in inventory,” he said. “We had a great market.”
Cleveland said showroom traffic was helped by price and product.
“We’re an upholstery furniture-driven market and the industry is here in Northeast Mississippi and at this market,” he said. “But our casegoods people also did well. It’s been a good market for everybody.”
Also, Cleveland said the market has settled on its next date.
He confirmed that the Spring Tupelo Furniture Market will be Feb. 18-20. The market has been experimenting with late January and early February dates the past couple of years, but, at least for next year, will stick to mid-February.
One major reason for moving to February is that the Winter Las Vegas Market has been pushed back to Jan. 24-28, and TFM officials wanted a little more separation between the events.
Contact Dennis Seid at (662) 678-1578 or dennis.seid@djournal.com.

Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal