TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – The bi annual Tupelo Furniture Market officially kicked off Thursday, with exhibitors and buyers from across the country making business deals.
The Tupelo Furniture Market had officially been opened for a few hours, and Joe Cottrell was ordering furniture for his Nashville stores.
He has been a regular at the Tupelo market for 20 or so years and sometimes visits the plants where the furniture is made.
“You’re a lot closer to the manufacturers here, if you ever wanted to do a factory tour something like that’s available, you have so much manufacturing here, in Mississippi,lots of times we meet more of the executives than we do in other places, so it’s a good market,” said Cottrell.
It’s also been a good market for Jim Sneed, founder and CEO of Pontotoc based “Affordable Furniture.”
“We look forward to this market, we usually see 100 to 125 customers, it’s ideal market for us with our price point, people looking for bargains for tax season, it’s right down our alley,” said Sneed.
Several years ago, the winter market was moved from February to January because many exhibitors wanted to be back in their stores as customers started receiving their income tax refunds.
The crowds have also gotten smaller, as many independent stores have been absorbed by larger companies.
The Tupelo market has seen a dramatic rise in mattress exhibitors.
“We have 45 mattress companies showing with us, 300,000 or 400,000 square feet of mattresses spread out, it’s one of the biggest mattresses showplaces in the country, really,” said VM Cleveland, founder of the Tupelo Furniture Market.
Without a doubt there has been a lot of changes in industry since the first Tupelo furniture market more than 30 years ago, but founder VM Cleveland says he has made sure this market is different from the others.
“This market is a niche, loyal to market,” said Cleveland.
The economic impact is also felt by vendors, who feed furniture market crowds.
“Good, yesterday was kind of slow, but today has been busy, selling out today,” said Chris Dean, of Chicken Salad Chick.
The furniture market runs through Sunday.
This is the 60th Tupelo Furniture Market.
There are also markets in Las Vegas and High Point, North Carolina.