Supply chain issues affect stores big and small
November 20, 2021
My name is Eric Leiss. I have operated Tehachapi Furniture and Mattress Center since April of 2000. I grew up in this industry. My father was the owner of Standard Furniture in Van Nuys beginning in 1978. We have always been veteran owned and veteran operated.
There have been supply issues within the industry for a while now, and I would like to try and explain my position. Please understand, I am not defending the actions of management or personnel at any retail shop, including my own.
I have had issues with a certain mattress manufacturer that has promised me bedding products by a specific date. I often will receive an email telling me they do not have the material to complete the bed and the bed will be delayed indefinitely, which leaves me to give my customer the unhappy news. This is a very uncomfortable position to be in. To help ease the pain, I do not take payment for the product until the product has reached my store. This has been my policy on most products as of late.
Because most RTA (”ready to assemble”) furniture is made in China, I only offer RTA furniture when I am assured it is in stock and I am able to pick it up from the importer that week. Even then, I don’t take payment until I have it at my store because when the product runs out, there is no telling when it will be available again. If ever.
For example, most Ashley Furniture Homestore products are RTA. So I try to only offer products from Ashley that are available now so my customer does not have to wait months. Some Ashley products are delayed up to a year. Best Home Furnishings is running close to a nine-month delay on all of the products they offer. Lane Furniture is not much better.
The issue is a lot of products that are made in America should say “assembled in America,” because the material used to make the products here is still produced overseas, especially foam and fabric. I have been trying to deal with companies that have a large supply or a supply chain that is still working. I offer fabrics that are in stock and I will tell you if the manufacturer has the fabric available.
Especially in these times, good communication is the key to avoiding disappointment and frustration. So many industries are in the same boat, waiting for material to get here from overseas. The good news is, the materials are starting to come in. Hopefully, industries of all kinds will be back to normal soon.