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From Home Furnishing Business

Registration Climbing in Tupelo

Close to 8,000 retailers so far have registered for the Aug. 14-17 Tupelo Furniture Market, which already equals attendance at last year's event.

That's according to market officials, who say a new and highly targeted approach to cultivating relationships with top producing retailers has paid dividends.

“Mississippi manufacturers ship more upholstered furniture than any other state in the country and the state ranks third in the U.S. in total shipments of all household furniture,” said Kevin J. Seddon, president of the Tupelo Furniture Market. “Many major retailers from the furniture industry have attended the Tupelo market for this reason since its inception, and our primary focus is to bring them all back and add to the list.”

According to Seddon, when the housing market faltered, furniture sales suffered and traffic at all furniture trade events declined.  However, the tide seems to be turning in Tupelo, and the list of national and regional “top” buyers pre-registered for the upcoming market has increased substantially.

“Close to 8,000 retailers have already registered for our upcoming event which is equal to last year’s August market,” Seddon said. “However, our sales and marketing tactics, as they relate to outreach, have been altered. The recruitment specialists we now task with communicating with potential buyers are far more well-versed in what these retailers need from us and our recruiters are equipped with a plethora of incentives that are tailored for targeted buyers.”

The result, according to Seddon, has been an upturn in new buyers from throughout the United States and the likelihood that those that have registered will show up in August and stay longer.  

Some of the top 100 retailers that have already registered for the Tupelo event include Gardner White Furniture Co., Badcock, Art Van, Gallery Furniture, FFO Home, Hank’s Fine Furniture, Haynes and Rooms-To-Go. Close to 1,000 other top retailers have also registered for the event--many for the first time, including Coconis Furniture, Kimbrell’s Furniture, Mega Furniture Imports, Ltd., Walt’s Furniture and the Roomstore.

A great number of new, smaller retailers are also registering for the Tupelo market.

“Many of the companies that show furniture and furniture accessories at our market depend on the thousands of smaller retailers that attend our market,” said Barbara Garrison, co-director of buyer recruitment. “They are the businesses that ultimately drive the industry and we are glad that so many of them have registered early for this fall’s event.”

The 2.5 million square feet of space for the upcoming Tupelo Market is nearly sold out.

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