By Tad Wilkes
Last fall, in conjunction with the 50th Tupelo Furniture Market, one of the largest furniture trade shows in the United States, producers of the bi-annual furniture trade event opened up one of their buildings to the public. The show’s management moved some of the show’s regular exhibitors, that sell to both furniture retailers and the public, to Building I of its two-million-square-foot facility and then complimented these exhibitors with other companies that also target both wholesale and retail customers, explains Kevin Seddon, president of the Tupelo Furniture Market. The event was then marketed aggressively to both furniture retailers and the public as the Furniture & Home Accessories Show.
The second Furniture & Home Accessories Show runs February 28 through March 3, 2013.
“Many business-to-business trade events have exhibiting companies that invite the public,” Seddon observes. “This can sometimes cause concern with other participating companies that have no desire to have the public walking into their showroom space. So, we created an event within our event which offers a win-win solution for all our exhibitors, our retailers, and the public—which has a keen interest in finding great values on furniture and home accessories that they could never find anywhere else.”
Seddon says Building I will once again be open at this spring to the furniture trade, regional business owners, and the public, but it will be twice the size of the fall event.
“We had success with our first attempt and consequently, we were overwhelmed with demand for exhibit space in Building I,” Seddon explains. “Therefore, when the event begins February 28, not only will the entire open floor be filled with exhibitors as it was last August, but also every showroom surrounding the exhibit floor has been sold, effectively doubling the size.”
The building will house a wide-range of home furniture, appliances, specialty items, and accessories at below-retail and discounted prices.
“In a recovering economy we felt this would be a great benefit to the public that has supported the market for so many years,” says Debbie Henry, director of sales for the Tupelo Furniture Market. “We have found that this event creates a ‘pull-through’ marketing opportunity for some of our wholesale only exhibitors because it creates demand for their products even after the event is over.”
“The second iteration of the Furniture & Home Accessories Show will not only be larger, but will have far more furniture for sale than our first event,” adds Janice Coleman, the company’s marketing director. “More than a quarter of the more than 150,000-square-foot building has been sold to companies selling furniture only and at incredible prices. And there are so many new companies selling accessories and other home-related products that its almost overwhelming.”
Coleman says myriad items will be available to the public, business owners, and retailers in Building 1, including all types of furniture—outdoor furniture, home accessories, Persian rugs, frames and framed art, lighting, mattresses, pottery, appliances, electronics, clothing, jewelry, purses, one-of-a-kind artwork, yard art, lighting and lighting fixtures, and dishware. Some of the major brands represented include Sealy, Serta, Simmons, Lane, Catnapper, Ashley, Franklin, Hampton Bay, Thomasville, Vintage Persian Rugs, Samsung, Frigidaire, Hotpoint, and LG.
“The companies chosen to showcase at this event are either in the home furnishings and home accessories sector, which has always been our strength, or they are specialty and niche market companies selling unique home products, art and fashion,” says Coleman. “This event promises to provide an amazing, one-of-a-kind shopping opportunity for the soccer mom or any mom for that matter. And everything will be more than affordable.”