Furniture Today Staff — Furniture Today, August 24, 2015

TUPELO, Miss. — Herring Furniture, a single-store operation in tiny Strong, Ark., received the national Buyer Appreciation Award from the Tupelo Furniture Market.

Phil Herring, second from right, owner of Herring Furniture in Strong Ark., displays the Tupelo Furniture Market’s national Buyer Appreciation Award. Others pictured, from left, are Mississippi State Rep. Randy Boyd, who presented the award; Herring’s daughter Amber Doggett; Herring’s wife, Donna; and V.M. Cleveland, chairman of the Tupelo market.

The award, given during each market, honors retail buyers for their support and long-term commitment to the Tupelo market. The award was accepted by store owner Phil Herring, whose father, Earl Herring, founded the business in the early 1940s.

Phil Herring said Strong has a population of only 623, but his 27,500-square-foot store attracts customers from across Louisiana, Mississippi and southern Arkansas.

“Our advertising is one of the keys to our success,” he said. “When your store is located in the middle of nowhere, it is important to get people’s attention by creating an unforgettable image.”

He said he began to feature his daughter, Amber, in television commercials in 1978 when she was four, and could repeat the store’s slogan, “Drive a little — save a lot.”

The slogan is still in use today, but Amber no longer appears in Herring Furniture’s commercials. Instead, she owns an interior design firm, Vivid Designs, in Little Rock, Ark. The store still relies on a heavy mix of television and radio ads, Herring said.