Despite a recession, nation-wide furloughs and supply chain disruptions, upholstery manufacturer Best Home Furnishings is boasting their highest sales figures ever. The company, headquartered in Ferdinand, Indiana, saw a 71% increase in August orders over the same time last year. June-August totals were also incredible, with orders up 67% compared to 2019’s three-month period. And from August 30 – September 5, they set a new company record for orders received and total dollars sold. So how is Best Home Furnishings thriving during such perilous times?
A huge advantage Best has over the competition is their speed. For years, they’ve managed some of the fastest turnarounds in the industry. While short lead times are always important, this spring, they became crucial. All around the country, people had been sheltering in their homes. That created two effects: 1.) They weren’t spending much of their disposable income. 2.) They noticed things in their surroundings they’d like to change. So when restrictions were eased a bit and people could go shopping, many headed to furniture stores and the internet. What stores realized with this rush of demand was many brands were unable to ship or had major delays because of supply chain disruptions—most due to closures in Asia earlier in the year. One standout that didn’t have this extensive issue? Best Home Furnishings.
Over Best’s 58-year history, they’ve manufactured sofas, recliners and chairs utilizing a robust American sourcing program. Many of the components that go in their pieces—from steel to foam to fabric—come from right here in the U.S. Plus, all of their products are built in southern Indiana. So when plant shutdowns overseas created problems for their competitors, Best could rely on their largely American-made materials and domestic assembly to keep production moving—albeit at a slightly slower pace, since Best itself was forced to close for a while due to government mandates.
But even putting the brakes on manufacturing for a few weeks didn’t hurt the bottom line. Demand for Best products is heavier than ever. And they’re responding by increasing production, especially with new hires. Right now, the company is in the middle of its largest-ever recruitment campaign. They want to hire 200 people by October 15. With high wages (upholstery jobs average $23/hour), sought-after benefits (medical, dental, matching 401k) and an air-conditioned manufacturing environment, Best could be a silver lining to people who have been hurt by the economic downturn.
Best Home Furnishings has divisions in Ferdinand, Jasper, Paoli and Cannelton. They’ve resisted pressure tap into larger labor pools and open facilities outside the region. However, they have showed their dedication to the area with an expansion of the Ferdinand facility in 2015.
“The southern Indiana region continues to supply us with a large pool of skilled individuals who possess a strong work ethic,” said Brian Lange, president of Best Home Furnishings. “2020 has hit many local families hard, and we feel it’s our corporate responsibility to continue reinvesting in our communities by providing high-paying jobs, a comfortable work environment and well-rounded benefits packages that will further enrich their lives. We don’t see the high demand for Best Home Furnishings products letting up any time soon. We are committed to building upon our Best team for the long-term.”