Foot traffic picks up at fall market

TUPELO – While the Fall Tupelo Furniture Market officially started on Friday, buyers and sellers were doing business as early as Monday.
So it came as little surprise that some market exhibitors were pleased with the results so far, even though the market isn’t over until Sunday.
“I would dare say that we’ve had the best market in the past three or four markets,” said Jay Quimby, vice president of sales for United Furniture Industries. “We’ve seen Top 100, mass merchants, mom-and-pops – we’ve seen them all, and they’re buying.”
Traffic at the market was noticeably higher than the last fall market and even better than the spring market in January, according to some exhibitors.
Ken Pruett, president of the Mississippi Furniture Association, said he had heard nothing but positive reviews from the market.
“I’ve been pleased with the number of buyers I’ve seen, as well as the number of orders being taken,” he said. “Everyone I’ve talked to is having a great market and I hope it continues. We won’t know for sure until the orders are all tallied, but it seems to be a very good market.”
Jim Sneed, CEO of Affordable Furniture, said buyers started visiting his showroom on Tuesday and have continued to come.
“We’ve probably seen 80 percent of the people we expected to see through early Friday,” he said. “We’re up, ahead of last year. I thought we were going to have a good market, but it’s even better than I expected.
Some exhibitors with “Tupelo-Only Specials” reportedly did well with buyers. Companies offering other special promotions also resonated well.
Ken Waldrip, vice president of sales for American Furniture Manufacturing, said his company’s offerings were attracting buyers.
“They’re here to find items to drive retail, through closeouts and special purchases, and we’ve made a big effort to provide that,” he said.
United’s Quimby said buyers and retailers were looking ahead and getting their inventories ready.
“I don’t think anyone has had a very good July or August, but there’s pent-up demand for the fourth quarter,” he said. “They’re definitely buying.”
Tupelo Furniture Market owner and CEO V.M. Cleveland said he was pleased with what he had heard and seen at the market.
“It’s been good,” he said. “We’ve seen a lot of buyers at this market, including many in the Top 100, definitely more than last August. The numbers for Tuesday and Wednesday were up significantly.”
The market is open to registered buyers from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and 8 a.m to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Contact Dennis Seid at (662) 678-1578 or dennis.sed@djournal.com.

Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal