BrandSource Members Speak Out on Furniture Price Hikes

By Alan Wolf, YSN

BrandSource members and the group’s home furnishings merchant appear prominently in a new article about the impact of price hikes on furniture dealers.

The story, which appears on the industry news site HomeNewsNow, quotes BrandSource members Oscar Miskelly of Miskelly Furniture and Robert VanHoose, CEO of Big Sandy Superstore, along with Seth Weisblatt, the group’s director of merchandising for home furnishings.

In the article, retailers say they understand the need for manufacturers to raise prices given the higher costs wrought by the COVID crisis, which was addressed by HomeNewsNow founding editor Clint Engel in a preceding report.

Of greater concern, dealers say, is that the price increases were imposed retroactively on goods that were already ordered but not yet delivered. “Now we’re having to go back and change the price on the order in the system,” Miskelly told Engel. “That’s creating more work on the administrative side here than should be necessary,” including printing new price tags, repricing items on the sales floor and other time-consuming clerical tasks. “It would have been much easier to do [the hike] on orders going forward, but that was not the case.”

Big Sandy’s VanHoose said the price increases are ranging from 3 percent to 10 percent depending on the product and appear to be tied largely to higher raw material costs. Fortunately, he said, strong consumer demand has allowed his company to pass along the price hikes to consumers on in-stock items without too much pushback.

Weisblatt said BrandSource had been preparing its members for wholesale cost increases as far back as July and advised dealers to review opportunities to raise their own retail prices, given the added cost of personal protective equipment and new delivery and store safety protocols in addition to the vendor surcharges.

“The general consensus is that price increases are inevitable anytime you have a limited supply and an increase in demand,” Weisblatt told HomeNewsNow.  The bad news, he added, is that the price increases may only be the beginning, and predicted that “Over the next six to nine months even more adjustments will be necessary.”

BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, mattress, furniture and CE dealers.