The pandemic has flattened many retailers, but not furniture retailers. Like many furniture retailers across the country, Home Furnishings Association member Howard Gerchikov of European Furniture Imports in Tampa is doing a booming business these days. Like many furniture retailers, he could be doing even better if he had product to sell.
“Don’t get me wrong, sales are great,” says Gerchikov, who has seven stores throughout central Florida. “But when you miss a sale because you don’t have an item in stock, that hurts.”
Supply chains have always been something of a mystery to many furniture retailers. One month a container arrives on time, the next month it is four days late. The process is even more in flux during the pandemic. Gerchikov says his stores were once accepting 20 containers a month from Malaysia. His business could still take that many containers in and sell from them, he says, but now he’s lucky if he can get his hands on 10 containers a month. He’s also having to rely on shipments coming from the port in Savannah, Ga. – with an increased expense of having to haul the product by interstate to his warehouse – rather than containers coming directly to a port in nearby Tampa.
HFA webinar to discuss supply chains
Furniture retailers can get a better understanding of supply chain logistics and how to better ensure their product is delivered in a timely fashion by registering for HFA Live’s Oct. 22 webinar featuring supply chain experts in the furniture industry.
“Almost any retailer of any size can control their supply chain,” said Riaz Husein, CEO of supply chain consulting firm Profit Chain. “There’s a belief out there that if you’re not a large retailer, you are at the mercy of your manufacturers for product. That’s not true. There are ways to figure out how to get product faster.”
Husein and Garrett Bowman, president of Gulfstream Shippers Association, will help unravel some of the challenges of having a smooth, flowing supply chain during the pandemic in their talk with HFA CEO Mark Schumacher. They’ll also show furniture retailers how they can cut lead times and get product faster. “One of the myths of supply chain is only the big players, the Top 100s, can get orders fulfilled quickly,” said Husein. “That’s simply not the case if you know what you’re doing. We’re going to show large and small retailers a strategy that works.”
Retailers interested in viewing the webinar can register here.