Originally scheduled for mid-February, the spring market will be held Jan. 16-19, market officials confirmed Monday.
“It gets us ahead of tax season,” said Kevin Seddon, TFM president.
The fall market is unchanged; it will be Aug. 15-18 as planned.
Seddon said market officials spoke to nearly all of their major exhibitors to get their input in moving the spring market.
Jim Sneed, CEO of Houlka-based Affordable Furniture, said he liked the move.
“I was in on some of those meetings, and the general consensus was it was a good idea,” he said.
It’s not the first time Tupelo has tried January dates.
In 2009, the renamed winter market was held in late January with a Saturday-Wednesday run. A year later, it was cut down to three days.
The spring market returned to its traditional February run in 2011.
However, many exhibitors and buyers have said they’ve been missing out on the lucrative tax season with the February dates.
V.M. Cleveland, the owner and chairman of the Tupelo Furniture Market, said a return to January had been long discussed.
“We did our due diligence, and the overwhelming feeling from buyers at least, was that a January show would be much better,” he said.
The only glitch with the move is that the Tupelo dates also will be bracketed by the Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market (Jan. 8-15) and the Dallas Total Home and Gift Market (Jan. 15-21).
That means some exhibitors – mainly rug, lamp and other accessories companies – will have to decide on which markets to attend.
Cleveland and Seddon acknowledged they’ll lose some of those exhibitors.
“There’s really no time between Atlanta and Dallas, and we had to be comfortable with some potential losses,” Seddon said.
“But we felt because of tax season, we had to get out in front of it to benefit as many exhibitors and buyers as possible.”
Sneed said that selling furniture was his top priority.
“I’m an upholstered furniture manufacturer, and Tupelo is my market where I do business,” he said.
“I think this move will benefit not just the small mom-and-pop dealers, but the mid-size ones, too. The big boys will be there, regardless. But when it’s tax season, when it’s President’s Day weekend, the smaller dealers can’t leave their stores in the middle of February.
“Now it’s important to get the word out.”