Skip to comments.Ethan Allen Turns the Tables in China
Posted on 01/02/2013 5:09:42 PM PST by MinorityRepublican
DANBURY, Conn.Furniture from China has gobbled an increasing share of the U.S. market in recent years, leading to the closure of hundreds of American factories. Now, turning the tables on their Asian rivals, two big U.S. producers are trying to sell more furniture in China.
The companies, Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. ETH +4.67% and Ashley Furniture Industries Inc., are pursuing different approaches. Most furniture Ethan Allen sells in China is made in its seven plants in the U.S. and Mexico. Ashley relies on furniture made at its own plant near Shanghai and elsewhere in Asia, though it ships small amounts from its eight plants in the U.S.
"There's a big appetite for U.S.-made goods" among the wealthier Chinese, said Steve Lush, president of Robb & Stucky International Inc., a Florida retailer of high-end home furnishings owned by Samuel Kuo, a furniture entrepreneur from Taiwan.
Robb & Stucky, which doesn't sell Ethan Allen or Ashley furniture, also aims to expand in China within the next few years with stores that would sell mostly U.S.-made products to the affluent, Mr. Lush said.
Ethan Allen furniture already is available in 77 stores in China operated by the U.S. company's local retailing partner, Markhor Furnishings Co. Ethan Allen's chief executive, Farooq Kathwari, said in an interview that he expects the number of Markhor stores carrying Ethan Allen products to reach at least 100 within a year. .
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A cousin who travels frequently in China tells me that US made labels and tags are often displayed on furniture, clothing, and other products as a sign of status. My cousin assures me that US made furniture is in fact of higher quality and is much sought after in China despite higher prices.
Can you find Stickley chairs and tables in Asia ?
Kane’s Furniture imports it furniture from China. Kane’s guarantees its furniture for life. I bought a couple livingroom set and a bedroom set from them. They were nicely priced.
The problem is that, when something goes wrong, and a piece needs repair, the part might have to be ordered from China, which could take months to get.
I have a leather sectional with an electric recliner. The recliner stopped working after about a month. A repair person authorized by Kane said that an electrical part was needed, and he ordered that part. I was told by Kane’s that the part would take about 3 months to get delivered. It’s been more than 3 months. I’m not desperate to get my recliner working again, but I sure would appreciate much quicker service.
Moral of the story: if the price is right, get it, but if you’re wishing to get quick service and the parts have to come from China, then stay away from the Chinese stuff.
My favorite. I found a cherry hutch in a consignment shop. Still cost a lot but it is worth every penny.
Maybe I'm wrong, but I suspect that most of these gizmos are made abroad, and even domestic manufacturers get a lot of their fasteners and motors overseas, because that's where most of the furniture assembly takes place. With the exception of items that require a huge amount of cutting edge design and technological expertise, a lot of non-bulky/heavy parts for just about anything are manufactured in cheap labor locales. Even Intel CPU chips are apparently put together all over the Orient. The reason you're getting an issue is not because the item is assembled in China, but because the service department has been remiss in keeping parts in stock.
The future for transnational companies is to have factories on each continent. It makes little sense to have supply lines thousands of miles long when your customers are right next door.
Good point. Supposedly, cheating is often regarded as acceptable in China, if you can get away with it.
Isn’t Robb & Stuckey GONE??? They went Kaput I thought.
A pine board across two cinder blocks is a better piece of furniture than anything made by the 30 IQ ChiComm apes.
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