Ethan Allen CEO says he expects the furnishings residue to finish in 4 to 6 months
Ethan Allen CEO Farooq Kathwari told CNBC on Tuesday the company expects to catch up on its production backlog by early next year after a series of pandemic-related delivery problems.
“One of our advantages is that, first of all, we have the right product lines. And secondly, we have the opportunity to combine the personal service of around 1,500 interior designers with technology … However, we are also affected by service issues, ”said Kathwari about the“ Power Lunch ”.
“We’re making improvements,” he said. “We have a lot of catching up to do, but I think we will catch up in the next four to six months.”
The interior design maker and retailer is hoping to get back to its “normal” pace at which it can produce custom products in less than eight weeks, Kathwari said, instead of the previous 12 to 16 weeks or longer.
Ethan Allen makes bespoke products while the majority of the furniture industry relies on warehouse products, he said, adding that 75% of Ethan Allen items are made in North America. The company sells furniture and decorative household products online and through approximately 300 design centers in the US and abroad.
Kathwari said the company is seeing “record sales” as consumer interest in home ownership increased towards the end of the summer season. He said Ethan Allen closed more than 250 of its locations and took more than 4,000 employees on leave when the pandemic hit the US early last year.
Kathwari said current service issues include delays in fabrics and raw materials such as foam and lumber. He said the company was hit by a variety of issues, including severe storms at its Texas plants that delayed production of foam for upholstery and couches, and an initial labor shortage at its original Vermont plant.
“Individual is extremely important. It was a challenge, but it was turned into an opportunity thanks to the dedication of our interior designers, the technology and the fact that … we stayed here and that is a great asset today, ”said Kathwari of maintaining his business in the USA
As of Monday, Ethan Allen will also change his ticker symbol from “ETH” to “ETD”, according to a press release dated August 4, in order to avoid confusion with Ethereum messages in search results. Kathwari said the change to the letter “D” reflects the company’s focus on design.