Vendors report good market in Tupelo

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – At a massive furniture market that spans six huge buildings, it’s only natural that some folks would want to take a minute to put their feet up.
That’s just what buyers did in Serta’s new showroom. The mattress company decked out its new, permanent showroom with its Trump Home Mattresses and iComfort lines and invited buyers to take a load off. This weekend’s Tupelo Furniture Market marks Serta’s return after a seven-year absence.
“This has been the busiest space in the market,” said Serta sales manager Frank Clark. “We’ve had 121 people come through this space.”
It wasn’t just a busy weekend for Serta, as Furniture Market owner and chairman V.M. Cleveland said the weekend kept a steady pace.
“This February is in line with last February’s shows,” he said.
He said he’ll always push for more traffic and higher numbers, but that he can see an upswing in both of those areas.
Mattresses and bedding did especially well this year, he said, as evidenced by the busy Serta room.
“We’ve also sold a lot of accessories: rugs, lamps, tables,” he said.
Jean Cox with Jenkins Lamp Inc. of Paragould, Ark., could attest to that.
“It’s been good,” she said. “We’ve opened a lot of good accounts.”
Customers have been snapping up lamps with “a more clean look,” she said, with less frills and more sharp lines and colors.
Those bright hues were what brought buyers into the Collums Furniture showroom.
“People are looking at new fabrics and pillow combinations, with bold colors,” said Howard Gaskin, sales manager. “You have your basic colors, but you have to dress them up with accent pillows.”
The eye-catching furniture equaled a good market for Collums Furniture.
“We’ve met a lot of new customers, and hired some new sales people,” he said.
Cleveland is ready to tackle August’s market.
“We’ll wrap this market up next week, and start talking strategy and planning for August market immediately,” he said. “It takes a full six months to put one of these things together, and we need every day to make it work.”
sheena.barnett@journalinc.com