TUPELO – Buyers should attend a market, even if they don’t buy anything, said Jeff Hosking, winner of a prestigious prize at the Tupelo Furniture Market and president and CEO of Columbus, Ohio-based PMD Furniture Direct.
His company started 12 years ago in an 800-square-foot storefront. Now, it has 70 locations in 30 states and is listed among Furniture Today’s Top 100 retailers.
Friday night at the fall Tupelo Furniture Market, Hosking received the 41st National Buyer Appreciation Award. During his acceptance speech, he urged buyers to attend markets, especially when times are tough.
“A lot of times when times get tough, people don’t come,” Hosking said. “But I think that’s especially when you need to come because that is where ideas are.”
After the speech, he added, “You never know where that magical idea is going to come from that’s going to change your business.”
During U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker’s introduction of the award, he said Hosking’s tale sounds like a “great American success story.”
Hosking has been attending to the Tupelo Furniture Market for about 10 years. He also shops at the markets in Las Vegas and High Point. Yet, he said he particularly likes the Tupelo event because it’s an easy market to work and the people of Tupelo generally are nice.
For example, he said while he was eating with his employees Wednesday night, a woman was leaving the restaurant and asked if Hosking’s table wanted an extra coupon she had for 20 percent off.
He said it was kind acts like the woman’s that make a difference in a visitor’s experience to a destination.
Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal