Tupelo serves up deals

Heath E. Combs, Wes Kennedy, August 13, 2013

TUPELO, Miss. - Promotional upholstery suppliers at this week's Tupelo Furniture Market will offer expansions of color, fabrics, value and frames. Wood furniture and accent suppliers plan to offer closeouts and market specials to help drive retail traffic.
     The market opens Thursday, Aug. 15, for a four-day run.
     Delta Furniture Mfg.'s introductions here focus on changing trends in color and fabrics, according to Chris Bray, vice president of sales and marketing for the upholstery producer. Bray said the company's business is focused on growing its customer base and continues to offer new frames and covers that fit promotional upholstery needs.
     While it will likely introduce only a few new frames, the number of textiles offered will bring its new SKU offering about eight in total.
     Bray added that Delta - now four years old - continues to expand and is having a good 2013, with first-quarter sales up over last year.
     "We like to keep ourselves open to new ideas both in product offering and manufacturing," he added.
     Prime Designs is introducing dining and accent tables in Tupelo made from reclaimed wood. Jerry Marlin, vice president merchandising marketing, said some of the pieces will have chalk paint finishes and complement new upholstery pieces with "shelter magazine" looks.
     Dining tables have a retail range from $1,499 and $1,699 retail and end table sets will range from $899 to $999, Marlin said.
     "They have an almost lodge type look, and they're unique items to the industry, all made in the U.S.," he said.
     In upholstery, Prime Designs is showing more cotton prints with color, Marlin said, and has added colors including lime green, tangerine, yellow, blue and aqua on lighter base cloths.
     "We think that there are a lot of consumers who see this type of look in the magazines, but up until now, they haven't been able to afford them," Marlin said, adding that the sofas will be offered at price points between $599 and $699.

Gail’s Accents
Gail’s Accents is offering this Cottage antique white mirror with arched frame and false antique brass door handles.
The Tupelo Furniture Market will be the launching ground for J Henry, a new domestically made upholstery line that includes this sectional.
The Tupelo Furniture
This Coast to Coast
This Coast to Coast Imports No. 46322 cocktail and table group has European style influences, aged tan top with routed detailing and Corbin black body.

     Greg Washington, president of Golden Chair, said the company is focusing on "take with" items here. Prices range from $49 to $99 retail for ottomans and benches to $299 to $399 for occasional chairs.
     "These are the types of items that are easy for people to come in the store, buy and load on the Tahoe to take home," Washington said. He added that the company is also introducing kids' chairs, pet products and home accents - and will offer a lot of closeouts.
     Industry veteran Virgil Henry will launch upholstery producer J Henry at this week's market. Henry, a partner in the business, said the company's manufacturing facility is in north Mississippi and it needs to have a presence at the show.
     "Tupelo is the perfect place to launch because top buyers come from throughout the country and they come to purchase product," Henry said. "We have an upholstered, promotional and promotional mid range product that is a cut above the competition in its design and its construction."
     Coast to Coast Imports CEO Andy Stein said the company had a record Las Vegas Market and is expecting the same for Tupelo. It will continue its Las Vegas promotion for deal-conscious customers here this week on select goods of up to 25% off its lowest price. Stein said its in-stock position on all goods continues to be a big reason for its growth.
     "We have built our inventory up to flow these promos immediately. All Vegas orders are shipping," he said. "All Tupelo orders will ship within one week of ordering."
     Ray Steele, co-founder of Gail's Accents, said he has been impressed the Tupelo Furniture Market's administration this year, including a growing exhibitor base and steady flow of e-mail marketing blasts.
     Gail's Accents will show new products from the High Point Market, market specials and a promotion of $100 off for the purchase of 10 items.
     Steele said the show could be one of the better attended summer Tupelo markets. Reports from recent summer markets have been good and another one this week would be a welcome harbinger for the remainder of the year.
     "If Tupelo has good customers then that bodes even better for High Point," Steele said. "It's like every other market in the world. You go there with high expectations and put your best foot forward and when customers come in you've got to sell them. That's all there is to it."

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