Mississippi furniture manufacturers will have an opportunity to meet with retailers and representatives of furniture associations from China at the Tupelo Furniture Spring 2015 Market according to coordinators at Mississippi State's Franklin Furniture Institute.
As China's demand for American-made upholstered furniture has increased, consumers are asking Chinese retailers for American products. The Chinese delegation will be at the February 4-6 event to learn more about furniture products made in the United States.
"When Chinese retailers expressed an interest in including American-made products in their showrooms, it seemed like a great opportunity to showcase the best of Mississippi-made furniture at the Tupelo Spring Furniture Market," said Bill Martin, director of the Franklin Furniture Institute at Mississippi State University.
The university's Franklin Furniture Institute, along with the Mississippi Development Authority's International Trade Office, Tupelo Furniture Market and China National Furniture Association arranged the logistics of the visit.
The market will provide Mississippi upholstered furniture and lumber manufacturers the chance to show their products and expand their export markets to China.
"Chinese consumers are changing," Martin said. "They are becoming more keenly attuned to quality and environmental issues. They are recognizing the value of American-made goods, choosing American-made products over Chinese ones, even if the costs are similar or more."
Debbie Miller, project coordinator and certified export manager with the Franklin Furniture Institute, is organizing information sessions and meetings for the delegation to interact with Mississippi manufacturers. Faculty from the university's Department of Sustainable Bioproducts also will be available to discuss the state's lumber resources and furniture testing capabilities.