Tupelo Furniture Market mulling spring show change

By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Tupelo Furniture Market officials wrapped up their spring market on Sunday, proclaiming it a good show – but also indicating it would consider moving the date.
TFM President Kevin Seddon said the consensus was that the four-day market had continued the momentum from the fall show, which marked its 25th anniversary.
“Generally, we think it went well,” he said. “You’ll always have some who didn’t do as well as they wanted, and the issue of timing of the market with tax season always comes up in discussion.”
Preregistration for the market was up, but Seddon said those numbers wouldn’t be finalized until later this week. He did say overall attendance was higher than the past two markets, with the bulk of the traffic arriving Wednesday and Thursday.
Some exhibitors said this year’s spring market – held a week later than usual – made it more difficult for them and buyers to attend since it was in the middle of the lucrative tax season. They said the smaller retailers want to be in their stores selling to customers with their tax refund checks, and aren’t coming to the market on weekends.
While not firmly committing to changing the date of the spring market, Seddon said, “we’re going to do what will benefit our exhibitors and our buyers the most.”
For other exhibitors, they couldn’t have been happier.
Al Wiygul, who recently took over as CEO of Ecru-based American Furniture, said his company had a “great market.”
“I really didn’t know what to expect, to be honest, but whatever it was, it was better than I thought it would be,” he said.
Keith Jackson of Catnapper also said his Tennessee-based company had seen increased traffic.
Virgin Henry of New Albany-based Southern Seating said the company had a “great market.”
“We wrote more orders Wednesday than the entire last market,” he said. “Great turnout of top 100 buyers.”
Verno, Piehl, vice president of sales for Houston, Texas-based Largo International, said business during the spring market exceeded any other previous market.
That’s welcome news to Seddon and the market, which worked furiously to attract more buyers and exhibitors to the show.
Seddon said the spring market was practically a sellout, and he expected similar demand for showroom space in the fall.
“We’re very pleased with the show. … we always want more, but we’re happy,” he said. “We’ve kept the momentum going.”
dennis.seid@journalinc.com

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THE FALL Tupelo Furniture Market will be held Aug. 15-18.