Ladies and Gentlemen,
First, let me thank you for your partnership and your patience. This is a challenging time in so many ways. I hope both professionally and personally, that you will come through this period strong and healthy.
I would like to give you an update on our business, and what you can expect going forwards.
Product Development Our entire team of Designers has been hard at work to keep our product line fresh and exciting. Because we cannot travel freely, the pace of our development is slower, but the quality of our design work is strong.
Inventory We always intend to hold a heavy inventory in our distribution centers, so that you don't have to. We want our warehouses to function as your warehouse. Unfortunately, our production has not been able to keep up with our extraordinarily high level of shipping for the past 7 months, so our inventory is much lower than we would like. We do continue to have more product in production than ever before, and we are receiving new inventory into our distribution centers at record levels. Nevertheless, it will likely be summer before our inventory levels are fully back to where we intend them to be. Until then, I would suggest that you focus your purchases on product that is in stock. If you are logged onto our website, you can use the "availability" filter when shopping any category of product.
Shipping performance We continue to work overtime and hire new talent in both our Virginia and California distribution centers. Since June, we have achieved an all-time high shipping volume, but this still has not been enough to keep up with orders. Unfortunately, we have also been challenged at times with team members being out for quarantines due to COVID. Our trucking companies have also struggled to deliver as timely as normal. My apologies for those of you we have let down as slow performance is never acceptable to us. Please know that we are doing everything possible to ship you more promptly.
Inflation As I'm sure you know, costs in our industry are increasing rapidly now. We are paying as much as double to get containers, the US dollar has weakened making overseas production more expensive, and many material costs are up dramatically. We are absorbing these increases as much as we can, but we must pass along some of these costs in our products. We plan to get specific information to you in early February, with price increases effective later in February.
Please know that we're committed to meeting your needs. Our effort is stronger than ever, and our factories are producing at their highest levels.
Thank you for your understanding as we navigate through the challenges we all face.
Mac Cooper, President