Wide array of case goods hits mark in Tupelo
Heath E. Combs -- Furniture Today, March 11, 2013
TUPELO, Miss. - Case goods suppliers said the Tupelo Furniture Market went just about as expected - closeouts sold well and in-line goods drew good interest.
For Eagle Inds., darker finishes continue to be popular with dealers. Harden Mfg. did well with youth bedroom, while Legends Furniture's retailers liked flexible buying options for its new bedroom program.
While entertainment consoles are still its top selling category, Eagle Inds. continues to have success with the bedroom category it reentered last year.
At retail, medium oak and the dark Caribbean Rum finishes are hot sellers, said James Bond, vice president of sales and marketing. He added that Eagle is implementing factory processes to improve its stain consistency.
At bedroom and upholstery maker Harden Mfg., the Colors youth bedroom offering of eight finishes and paints continues to be popular, said Marc Force, director of sales. A five-piece Colors bedroom group ca n retail for about $399.
Force said that in bedroom, retailers are doing well with eclectic groups like Harden's Jeanene, with a vintage twotone headboard featuring a warm dark-rub finish and inset cherry panels. The company's Abigail group with light ash finish and black glass headboard insets also is doing well, he said.
Harden recently entered the upholstery category and continues to have success in the $499 to $699 price range for sofa, loveseat or sectional combinations.
Legends Furniture is continuing to grow sales in bedroom, a category it entered last year, said Jim Cherry, national sales manager. Legends brought out a domestically produced line this year to complement an Indonesia import line introduced last fall.
Cherry said retailers like oversized, taller beds in the program and features like finished drawer interiors and English dovetailing - in styles based on proven entertainment and office designs.
Another hot selling point to the line is the inclusion of matching media fireplace mantles to bedroom groups, Cherry said. While a television is often found in homes' master bedrooms, furniture suppliers don't often include fireplace mantles as an option, he said.
"It's a huge deal. No one's doing it," Cherry said, adding that dealers also like the import program's FOB Indonesia pricing out of the domestic warehouse for those who commit to it for a year.
"They don't have to over inventory bedroom they don't know will work. Nor do they have to free up the dollars. It helps dealers better manage inventory instead of owning," Cherry said.
Cramco had one of its best sales days in Tupelo on the Wednesday before opening, said Dave Shock, national sales manager. Closeouts and inline pieces both sold well, he said.
Castered dining groups continue to be a good seller, since Cramco is one of the few still offering them at a moderate price point, Shock said. Contemporary has been strong, especially in wood dining, as have pieces with chrome features.
Gail's Accents co-founder Ray Steele said that accent chairs continue to be hot sellers as matching sofa, loveseat and chair combinations become less common in homes. Retailers in Tupelo liked chairs with a dull gray leaf coloring and jeweled hardware.
Steele said that while Tupelo was a healthy market, retail business slowed a little in February - not surprising with consumers pressured with Christmas credit card bills, higher gas prices and the expired payroll tax cut.
"February shipping was great, but new orders coming in was kind of scary," Steele said. "It's the old adage, you can find more reasons not to do something than you can to do it."
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