By JB Clark
TUPELO – Exhibitors fought off exhaustion Saturday as smaller furniture buyers, like mom-and-pop shop owners, took to the floors after a busy first two days at the Tupelo Furniture Market.
“This is nearing the end of the market and you’ve been busy so you’re a little tired and a little weary,” said V.M. Cleveland, CEO of the Tupelo Furniture Market.
He said Saturday is the day for smaller furniture store owners to buy floor samples to quickly get into their stores.
Many exhibitors used the slower pace of the day to catch their breath, reorganize their booth and relax. Exhibitors and buyers chatting on a plush couch or across each other from a table was not uncommon, as opposed to the fast pace of sales Thursday and Friday crowds brought.
Nikki Harmon and her daughter were keeping watch over the National Mattress booth, a Plantersville-based company owned by her parents.
“Saturday is a little less busy,” said the three-year veteran of the furniture market. “It’s a laid-back, blue-jean kind of day.”
Harmon said they had many buyers come back on Thursday and Friday but Saturday she rested on their mattresses as a few prospective buyers trickled by.
Jacob Olson, general manager of Indigo Imports based out of Ozark, Missouri, said even with a slower Saturday than he had hoped for he was able to sell most of his furniture, evidenced by “sold” signs hanging from virtually every item in his display room.
“We’ve had a 90- to 95-percent sell through of all our floor samples,” he said. “It’s always a great market and that’s because of the people that run the market.”
He said Thursday was an excellent day of sales, followed by a typical Friday and a fairly decent Saturday.
“It’s usually a little busier but today has been decent,” he said. “It’s usually mom-and-pops toward the end.”
Olson said they do 12 markets each year and he enjoys how easy the staff at the Tupelo Furniture Market make it to get in and out of the market and how nice they are to work with.
“It’s less stressful and almost like a vacation,” he said. “They’ve had lots of buyer events and parties and done an excellent job recruiting buyers this year.”
Cleveland said it is the goal of the Tupelo Furniture Market staff to provide plenty of entertaining events and Southern hospitality.