By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The Tupelo Furniture Market has been a beehive of activity this week as it prepares for the fall market.
Celebrating its 25th year, TFM officially begins Thursday and ends Sunday. Market officials say the buzz surrounding the silver anniversary has led to strong buyer registration and exhibitor interest.
The market said earlier this month it expects its best attendance in nearly 10 years.
More than 100 new exhibitors will show at the market, and seven companies expanded their showrooms.
“We’re excited about this market and the interest that’s been shown,” said TFM Chairman V.M. Cleveland.
Buyers already were making deals with larger exhibitors as early as Monday, but most buyers and dealers will arrive during the next couple of days.
On Tuesday, many exhibitors were scurrying around, getting their showrooms and spaces ready.
Workers with forklifts, pallet trucks and pallet jacks and carts were moving and opening boxes and crates of furniture. They were assembling, stacking, moving and cleaning as quickly as they could.
And more than once, exhibitors were barking orders to get their furniture set up, signs hung and the lights working.
“No matter how much you plan and organize, there’s always something left to do,” said Janice Coleman, who handles marketing and public relations for the market.
The market, open only to registered furniture buyers, will have a new twist this year.
Building I will be open to the public for the inaugural Furnishings and Home Accessories Show. It will be much like a trade show within a trade show, TFM President Kevin Seddon said. Customers will be able to buy products and take them with them. However, the public still will not have access to the remaining five buildings.
The Furnishings and Home Accessories Show will run concurrently with the fall market.