An Industry Update from Famous Tate’s Claude Ward

Famous Tate’s Claude Ward explains appliance shortages on a local Fox News broadcast.

By Claude Ward, Famous Tate

General Manager Claude Ward provides a state-of-the-industry update and company status report that can benefit all BrandSource members. YSN has posted it below with Claude’s permission.

Five months ago, none of us could have predicted what we were in store for as a business when COVID-19 started presenting itself.

The rollercoaster ride started with the most pleasant of surprises, having three incredible big months of business. Good fortune was on our side as we happened to have a very high level of inventory from our recent national buy fair. We were able to perform and make countless customers happy while our competitors were rendered ineffective on all counts.

We are incredibly thankful to everyone for the energy and focus it took to handle that volume of business while learning to wear masks, stay six feet apart and adapt to other new life-changing habits. The commitment and focus from all Taters have been remarkable.

We are now entering a new phase of dealing with the reality of massive industry shortages, which makes us unable to fulfill many customer orders until sometime in the future. All manufacturers are only operating at about a 20- to 30-percent output due to COVID and other global supply and labor issues.

All of the forecasts say it will be another 40 to 60 days before the supply line gets close to normal. The good news is everyone is pretty much in the same boat and customers are still placing lots of orders with us every day for when the products eventually do come in. They want to buy from Famous Tate! This period of time will not be easy, and once again we ask everyone to dig deep within themselves to maintain a sense of patience, understanding and empathy to everyone in our company, our suppliers and our customers.

Most important of all is to not let our guards down in practicing all of the safety COVID guidelines. Everyone’s safety, health, jobs and livelihoods have to always be the number one priority.

Our company is built to withstand times like this, and we know we have the very best people it takes to come out the other side of this better and stronger than ever. Thank you for all you do as we look forward to better days ahead!

Claude Ward is General Manager of Tampa’s Famous Tate Appliance & Bedding Centers. He is readily credited by founder John Horst with building the company into an 11-store powerhouse.