By Sarah Robinson/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – With the 2013 Spring Tupelo Furniture Market officially under way Thursday, market officials expect 25,000 to 30,000 people to attend by the time the show closes Sunday.
V.M. Cleveland, the market’s chairman and CEO, said preliminary reports from buyers and exhibitors have been positive.
Cleveland said this week’s spring market is the second show since the organization ramped up its marketing effort and added to its staff.
The silver anniversary show last fall was well-attended, and preregistration numbers coming into this week’s show were higher as well.
“Exhibitors are very pleased about the momentum we’re building,” he said.
The number of exhibitors has increased with the return of many who have not participated recently. Since last year’s spring show, the market says it’s added some 200 new exhibitors.
“We’re pretty much sold out,” Cleveland said.
“We are positioning ourselves to have growth,” he added. “We fully expect to have to expand the market in the future.”
Cleveland said the fact that housing starts are up and the retail furniture market has seen an uptick are positive signs for the industry.
While he was cautious about being overly optimistic, Cleveland was pleased that exhibitors began writing orders as early as Monday.
“If you start off strong, you usually end up good.”
In addition to the spring show, the market again has opened Building I to the public for the second Furniture and Home Accessories Show.
Only registered buyers and retailers are allowed at the spring market, which takes place in Buildings II-VI.
• The Spring Market is open to registered buyers and exhibitors today and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• The Furniture and Home Accessories Show is open to the public today from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• For more, call (662) 842-4442 or visit www.tupelofurnituremarket.com.