Spring furniture market attracts buyers, vendors from across United States
Despite sluggish economy, business is steady at the bi annual market
TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – Furniture store owners and manufacturers from across the nation are in Tupelo for the bi-annual Furniture Market.
Larry Nelms was busy Wednesday morning placing orders for furniture to sell at his store, Furniture Plus, in Monroe Louisiana. His 14-year-old daughter, Johna Nelms, was helping her dad. She has been coming for a long time.
“Her first market was three months before she was born,” Larry Nelms said.
Johna Nelms works in the family-owned store and is learning the business. Her Dad, Larry Nelms said the Tupelo market is their favorite. Larry Nelms said the sluggish economy means furniture store owners must focus on customer service and quality inventory.
“I’ve been in the business 20 years, have a whole lot of repeat customers, so that’s what has kept us, it’s hard this time,” Larry Nelms said.
VM Cleveland is the founder of the Tupelo Furniture Market and said buyers, like Larry Nelms, came to this market ready to do business.
“The exhibitors create the buyers, they get together on their need and the smaller retailers really need this market, that’s where it started and maybe where we recover,” Cleveland said.
The furniture industry has weathered tough times before and during those downtimes, retailers, and exhibitors at this market said it’s important to find a niche, and have a top-quality product and a product customers want.
“With the kind of furniture we offer, heritage pieces that last generation after generation, people are a lot less frivolous with their cash, they are not looking for cheap stuff, they are looking to spend their money on quality pieces that will last a lifetime,” said Drew Kuhn, of LMT Imports, based out of Dallas, Texas.
“A lot of businesses today, especially since covid, have to get creative and have something for everyone, people who have furniture stores may have to appeal to somebody if the furniture business was slower, have to bring more people in, we sell hats all over the U.S.,” said Martha Henson, of Hayfield Junkie Hats, out of Okolona.
The Spring market runs through Thursday.
Vendors and store owners say the springtime is typically strong for the furniture industry because of those tax refund checks.
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