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  • Larry Thomas

Tupelo shifting to January

Retail Editor 3, Larry Thomas -- Furniture Today, May 15, 2013

TUPELO, Miss. - The Tupelo Furniture Market has shifted the dates of its spring market to mid-January in order to give buyers and manufacturers a jump on tax refund season.
     The spring show, which traditionally has been in mid- to late February, is now set for Jan. 16-19, 2014, and Jan. 15-18, 2015, said market President Kevin Seddon.
     Seddon said the change was made after consulting with numerous exhibitors and buyers - many of whom felt January show dates would boost attendance from small and mid-sized retailers.
     "Many of them simply can't leave their stores in February because that's when tax-season selling is heaviest," he said. "The new dates should give them a chance to shop our market and place their orders before things get real busy."
     Tax refund checks are a key driver of first-quarter business for manufacturers of promotionally priced goods that make up the core of the Tupelo market's exhibitor base.
     "We felt our last spring market (held Feb. 28-March 3) was a strong show, but we knew it could have been better," said Seddon. "We heard from a lot of buyers who usually shop here, but couldn't come this time."
     The date changes won't affect Tupelo's fall market, which will take place Aug. 15- 18. The market will stick with its Thursday-Sunday schedule for future shows.
     The new January dates mean the show will take place immediately after the Atlanta Gift and Home Furnishings Market and will overlap the Dallas Total Home and Gift Market. Seddon acknowledged the Tupelo show could lose a few exhibitors who also show at Atlanta and/or Dallas, but said the market would work hard to accommodate them.
     The January 2014 Tupelo market also will end a few days before the winter Las Vegas Market, set for Jan. 26- 30.
     The new Tupelo dates occur a week after the dates set by two industry veterans who are organizing a market in Tunica, Miss. However, Seddon said the proposed Tunica show wasn't a factor in the decision to change dates.
     Scott Morton, an organizer of the Tunica show, said the event will keep its Jan. 8-9 dates. He said he was pleased the Tupelo dates were announced now, instead of later in the year, so potential exhibitors can decide if they want to show at one or both of the markets.
     "I still want to promote the idea of two successful markets in northern Mississippi," Morton said.


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