Savvy Discount Furniture said it’s liquidating three stores in Farmers Branch, Garland and North Richland Hills because it can’t get new inventory to stay in business.
Enduring supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have left the furniture retailer without a pipeline for new merchandise, said Jerry Certa, a sales manager with a furniture consulting firm working with Savvy.
The once-healthy business with sales of about $5.5 million a year and 25 employees is now an unsustainable business, Certa said.
Savvy owner Wayne Smith opened the business 10 years ago and expanded it to three stores, filling a niche for middle-market customers with living room sets starting at around $1,000, below competitors such as Ashley Furniture and Nebraska Furniture Mart.
About 75,000 square feet of combined store space and another 75,000 square feet of warehouse space are being liquidated. The inventory includes furniture and mattresses from brands such as Ashley, American Furniture, Coaster, Crownmark, Delta and Happy Home.
The retailer has about two months of inventory left depending on how the closing sale proceeds, Certa said. Most of its furniture suppliers are in China, Vietnam, Korea and Mexico.
Container prices have increased 300% to 400%, in some cases, but paying more doesn’t guarantee that the goods will reach the retailer any quicker, according to the Home Furnishings Association. A 40-foot shipping container from China may cost $20,000 and take as long as nine months to arrive.
The furniture industry’s reputation has been sullied by the pandemic’s uncertainty of supply.
Even stores with inventory on hand are hurt because shoppers are staying away, assuming they just can’t buy furniture these days, Certa said.
Furniture stores have to tell customers over and over that their sofa still hasn’t arrived, and stores are hurt by customers who give up and cancel orders.
For a big-box furniture store, cancellations could be in the tens of thousands of dollars each week, Certa said. He is a sales manager with Connecticut-based Planned Furniture Promotions, which has been around since 1962 working with troubled furniture retailers to restructure their businesses and sometimes to close them.
“This is unprecedented. I’ve been in the furniture business for 30 years, and usually the problems come because a retailer has too much inventory,” he said. “It’s going to be a while before the American furniture retail business is healthy again.”
The going-out-of-business sale started this week at these locations:
- 13592 N. Stemmons Freeway, Farmers Branch
- 3178 Lavon Drive, Suite 103, Garland
- 5555 Rufe Snow Drive, Suite 390, North Richland Hills
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