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Tupelo Furniture Market wraps up four-day run

TUPELO, Miss. — The Tupelo Furniture Market ended on Sunday with dealers reporting mostly business as usual for the closeout-heavy and promotional upholstery market.

On Friday, the market's Manufacturer's Representative Award went to Cramco's Bob Tradnack, according to a Knight Ridder/Tribune wire story. Tradnack, 83, sold appliances and televisions before joining Bassett Furniture in 1972 and in 1998 went to work for dinette manufacturer and importer Cramco.

"Bob is the first one to the market and the last one to leave," said Dave Shock, Cramco's sales manager. "He's also our unofficial showroom manager. If he sees someone walk in unattached, he'll find a rep or he'll help them himself."

Tupelo Furniture Market officials celebrated the event's 25th anniversary at this summer's show. At a celebration party, market founder V.M. Cleveland thanked supporters and said he is looking forward to continued success.

"Tupelo supported this market from the beginning," Cleveland said.

"Tupelo Furniture Market is the little engine that could," said Tupelo Mayor Jack Reed Jr. "It took a community effort to make this the success it is."

At Tupelo exhibitor Higdon Furniture, sales manager Bill Bevec said the company's youth bedroom business was strong. One product that got a good response was the No. 257 youth bedroom, which as a dollhouse built into its headboard. A four-piece group retails for $599.

Gail's Accents promoted a Tupelo special of $100 off for the purchase of 10 pieces. Ray Steele, co-founder of Gail's, said the show continued to draw a buyers who use it as their primary furniture market.

"They come here because they find product they can't see anywhere else," Steele said.
The company did well with its Modern Bling Trunk with faux diamond accents and the Winmark silver chair with nail head trim, Steele said.

Tim Mueller, executive vice president for Genesis Preferred Furniture, said he was pleased with the market.

"We don't live and die by how many people come in, but who comes in," Mueller said. "If we see a dozen serious buyers, we're happy."

Earlier, Roanoke, Va.-based Grand Home Furnishings received the market's National Buyer Appreciation Award.

For complete market coverage, see the Aug. 27 print issue of Furniture/Today.

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