It’s that time of year again: the Tupelo Furniture Market is set to kick off its four-day event on Thursday, and vendors are optimistic that sales will be better this year with the recession’s slow-down.
With an average attendance of 30,000, twice a year the Market almost doubles the population of Tupelo, considered the upholstery manufacturing capital of the world both in pieces produced and volume of dollars. Buyers come from 50 states and 38 foreign countries to both the February and August markets.
Tupelo Mayor Jack Reed said, “We are optimistic about it. Generally speaking, most of the people that I talk to, whether they’re manufacturers or retailers in the furniture industry, say they are in better shape than they were this time last year.”
The health of the furniture industry is tied closely to the housing market. Market traffic has been down in the last couple years, but Market marketing director Janice Coleman has also heard talk from vendors that things should be a little bit better this year.
“Not a lot, but a little bit and a little bit works,” Coleman said.
The Tupelo market’s competition is the High Point Market in North Carolina and the Las Vegas Market.
“But we have our own niche at being the promotional to medium market,” Coleman said. “Our niche fits the current economy. We’re a value market. People come here looking for the values. We’re an order-writing market where you can come here and casually see your vendors.”
There are a significant number of new and growing companies that will be participating in the Feb. 2011 Market, including three new Mississippi start-up companies: Synergy Furniture from Okolona; Newport Upholstery from New Albany; and, Dallas Furniture from Tupelo.
“I’m hoping I can jump start with a little bit of tax business,” Galjour said. “I’m a small manufacturer. I’m hoping to network with some of the bigger retailers.”
He believes Synergy has an updated look that will make them stand out: “There’s definitely a generation gap in the furniture business. I’m not doing the same old promotional furniture.”
BEFORE YOU GO…
… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.
If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.Click for more info