Ladies and Gentlemen:
Two years into the pandemic and our business environment is still very challenging. Old rules often don't apply, and predictions and forecasts are wrong as much as right. Fortunately, HOME has continued to be a priority.
I'd like to recap where we are now in our ability to service you and share our updated price lists with you.
- Our factories and distribution centers are still mostly operating at capacity. Shipments are at an all-time high now and should stay at a higher level for the foreseeable future.
- Our office staff is fully engaged and working heavy overtime, but is not able to respond to the volume of calls and emails promptly. This has never happened before the pandemic and surge in business. We will not be content until we are staffed up and responding quickly as we all expect. Note there is no drop in our overall service level, quality expectations, etc, only the response time. I'm sorry for any frustrations with slow responses.
- Shipping time. Assuming no delays due to inventory availability, we are now shipping orders in one week on average.
- Inventory levels in both distribution centers are improving weekly, and are MUCH better than the second half of '21. We still recommend you use the in-stock filters on our website, which are available after you log in and select a product category.
- Containers on the water remain at unprecedented levels. We are keeping about 700 containers on the water until our inventory on both coasts is back to where it should be. Product from Vietnam is still what is most out-of-stock.
- Costs continue to go up rapidly in every direction. The biggest increase continues to be container costs. We are often paying $15,000 and more per container. We had projected slightly lower costs by now, but we were wrong on this, again. Our priority is to build our inventory back up rather than minimize costs. The costs we are absorbing are well above expectations.
For our updated price lists, please click the link below. The average increase to you is under 4%.
Thank you for your business and your patience. We know business is equally challenging on your end, and we want to be the best partners possible.
- Please note that we are reluctant to raise prices now, but we don't feel that we have a choice. This price increase is effective for orders placed beginning March 1st. The increase does not apply to orders written prior to March 1st, no matter when we ship. We don't think this would be fair to you. We also have never added a shipping surcharge to orders.
High Point Market is early this year, April 2-6. We hope to see you in person!
Mac Cooper, President