By Dennis Seid
TUPELO – With preregistration numbers up nearly 30 percent and available space 99 percent filled, the Spring Tupelo Furniture Market is positioned to have another good show this week.
That is, if Mother Nature cooperates.
“The weather is good, at least around here,” said Kevin Seddon, market president. “It’s the rest of the country that we’re keeping an eye on.”
The biannual furniture industry trade show officially opens Thursday and ends Sunday.
The country has been hit hard by severe snow and ice storms in recent weeks, and that could impact travel to and from Tupelo.
Nevertheless, officials said if the early numbers hold up, the spring market could be good for both buyers and sellers.
“We’ve preregistered right at 15,000 people, and we’ll have quite a few who will walk up and register,” said Seddon. “We know that not everybody will show, but one thing we’ve done this year is we’ve gone back and spoken to everyone who’s preregistered to make sure they’re coming. If they said they weren’t, we took them out of the system. So we feel like they’re pretty good numbers at this point.”
The spring show will feature 41 new exhibitors, while 22 existing exhibitors expanded their space at the market.
Continuing the popular series from last year, the market will host “lunch-and-learn” sessions by the Profitability Consulting Group Thursday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The National Buyer’s Appreciation Award ceremony will be Thursday at 6 p.m., and the Manufacturer’s Representative Award ceremony will be held Friday at 6 p.m.
“We’ve got another good mix of exhibitors, from promotional to mid-priced to higher-end lines,” Seddon said. “The buying patterns have changed over the years, as has our list of exhibitors, so we’re offering a broader range of products and price points than we ever have.”
Also returning is the Furniture & Home Accessories Show, held concurrently with the furniture market. Friday’s events include the Sparkles and Spirits Party, followed by Skylar Laine performing from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
New to the market this year is an event set aside for community college and university students to explore opportunities in the furniture industry.
Seddon said a Saturday luncheon has been set for students who will get a chance to meet with industry and market officials and get a tour of the market.
• Held in Buildings II-VI
• Thursday-Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Open to registered buyers and guests only
• For more information, call (662) 842-4442 or visit www.tupelofurnituremarket.com
• Held in Building I
• Open to the public
• Features furniture, home accessories, appliances, jewelry, clothing, other fashion-related items
• Thursday and Saturday from 8 a.m. 6 p.m, Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.