Monthly Archives: January 2021

  1. Container scarcity is latest supply chain challenge

    Container scarcity is latest supply chain challenge

    Despite surging demand for home furnishings since last summer, it’s no secret that supply chain problems have plagued the industry and led to increased lead times. There have been fabric shortages, foam shortages, lumber shortages – you name it shortages.

    But in many instances, factories simply couldn’t ramp up production fast enough to meet the demand, as most were shut down for several weeks in March and April amidst coronavirus lockdowns. Even a non-operations guy like me understands that production can’t go from 0 percent capacity to 100 percent capacity instantly.

    But now that most factories are humming again, another shortage has reared its ugly head: there aren’t enough ocean shipping containers to move the merchandise to U.S. ports from the Asian factories where much of our furniture is built.

    That’s obviously a major headache for importers such as Zuo, not to mention large retailers who get a lot of container-direct shipments.

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  2. The demand for Product is no longer a speculation after seeing attendance at Atlanta

    The demand for Product is no longer a speculation after seeing attendance at Atlanta

    If you thought the pandemic-fueled surge in demand for home furnishings might be tapering off, the recent Atlanta Gift & Home Market probably squashed that speculation.

    Zuo and other Atlanta exhibitors were kept busy throughout the week-long event, even though most reports indicated attendance was only about 50 percent of a “normal” January market. But those who did venture to Atlanta were there to buy. There’s wasn’t much tire-kicking or empty promises to come back later.

    Buyers – most of whom were designers or executives from smaller locally-owned stores and regional independents, simply took their cues from the 1980s Queen song “I Want It All and I Want It Now.”

    And they had good reason to want their orders filled right away, as continuing supply chain problems have led to lengthy delays in producing and shipping most goods made in Asian factories. Compounding the situation is the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration, which begins

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