By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Since the early 1950s, Grand Home Furnishings has given away Coca- Cola to shoppers who come through one of its 17 stores.
So it was appropriate that the Tupelo Furniture Market returned the favor.
On Thursday, the Roanoke, Va.-based retailer received the market’s National Buyer Appreciation Award.
Fred Hill, the company’s vice president of operations, also got a plaque, along with the 2-liter bottle of Coke.
“I love coming to the Tupelo Furniture Market,” Hill said. “They’ve made it easy to come here.”
Grand Home Furnishings, nearly a century ago began as a piano store in Roanoke. It added furniture about 20 years later. The music-related merchandise eventually gave way to furniture, and today, the company has 17 stores in 15 states in western and central Virginia, east Tennessee and east West Virginia.
The company employs 560 employees and is one of the largest regional furniture chains in the South.
An important part of Grand Home’s business strategy is its promotional furniture offerings, and Hill said the Tupelo Furniture Market is the best place to find what he needs.
“I’m the upholstery buyer, and this is the best market for me,” he said. “It’s easy to shop, with the furniture market staff getting background information to me and helping me do my job.”
Buyers don’t like to spend any more time away from home than they have to, and Hill said he enjoys the efficiency of the market.
“I’m able to fly in and fly out in one day, and even though it’s a long day, I can be home the next,” he said.
Hill also said the hospitality of the market extends to the city.
“Wherever you go to eat, wherever you go to stay, everybody is so welcoming,” he said. “It’s that Southern hospitality shining through.”