Spring market moved to February

The Fall Tupelo Furniture Market wrapped up Sunday, with officials pleased with the results. (Thomas Wells)

The Fall Tupelo Furniture Market wrapped up Sunday, with officials
pleased with the results. (Thomas Wells)

TUPELO – After announcing earlier this year that it was moving next year’s spring market to January, Tupelo Furniture Market officials have moved it back to its traditional February run.

“We had done our due diligence and talked to our exhibitors after the last spring market about making the switch to January,” said TFM President Kevin Seddon. “But after further discussions, there was a change of heart with some who decided it was better to keep it in February.”

So, the Spring Tupelo Furniture Market will be held Feb. 6-9. That’s three weeks earlier than this year’s spring market, which spilled over into March.

The late timing of that market prompted some exhibitors and buyers to raise concerns about missed sales. Some had said the spring market was more difficult to attend because it was held late during the crucial tax season, as well as after the Presidents Day weekend, another top promotional weekend for retailers.

Market officials May announced that they were moving the spring market to Jan. 16-19. But that brought other concerns, as the Tupelo market would be bracketed by the Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market and the Dallas

Total Home and Gift Market. It also would have placed it ahead of the Las Vegas Market.

After a change in heart by some exhibitors, Tupelo Furniture Market officials decided to move the 2014 spring market back to February.

It’s not the first time TFM has tried moving the spring market. Officials move the show to January in 2009 and 2010, but switched back to February in 2011.

Meanwhile, at this year’s fall market wrapped up Sunday, and Seddon said the feedback was “exceptional.”

“Generally, people were telling me and our staff that it was a good show,” he said. Preregistration numbers were about 25 percent higher than the previous market, and the market continued to pull in more new buyers.

The market has made a great push to recruit new buyers, and the efforts appear to be paying off.

“Exhibitors certainly want to see their existing customers, but they want to see new accounts, too, in order to grow,” Seddon said. “We’ve been able to do that.”

The market officially runs Thursday to Sunday, with an “unofficial” opening on Wednesday. Usually, traffic tapers off on the weekends. Seddon said buyers were still placing orders Saturday and Sunday.

“We had people from New York, Ohio and Indiana coming in, because the weekend is the only time they can shop,” he said.

Among the exhibitors who were pleased with the fall market turnout was new exhibitor J Henry of Okolona.

Lee Caldwell, one of three co-founders of the company, said, “we’ve got orders to fill and this is just our initial presentation. We’re going up from here and adding more variety.”

The company was formed about five weeks ago, and Caldwell said the employees at the plant pulled off a “small miracle” to fill the showroom with samples.

“We’ve got a team that’s bought into our concept of quality over quantity, making furniture better than most places around here,” he said. “They’re excited, we’re excited about the potential.”