The kitchen cabinet industry is extremely busy right now. Possibly busier than it ever has been. Couple the explosion in sales with the confusion and inconvenience created during a pandemic and you have potential problems and possibly lengthy delays. Main Line Kitchen Design has been doing a tremendous job keeping delays and problems to a minimum, but as Ed our Operations Manager frequently laments “it’s like playing Wack-a-Mole”.
Some of the challenges created in this wild west environment are:
New employees for cabinet factories, warehouses, and trucking learning on the job. This creates orders we need to triple check because cabinet brand customer service people are often new, stressed, and working from home while processing our orders. We almost never receive sales conformations that aren’t full of mistakes that we need to correct and often correct again. Inexperienced delivery people damage cabinetry. They place cabinets face down in their trucks or drop them without checking for damage. Often these inexperienced drivers arrive at the wrong job sites, or show up without warning, or arrive hours after their delivery window.
Cabinet lead times are increasing.
Fortunately, the less expensive cabinet brands that Main Line Kitchen Design carries have remained on schedule and still have ample stock of all the parts and pieces they need to fill cabinet orders. However, many similar lines are running out of stock. For example, I have heard that J&K cabinetry, Forever Mark, and a few other lines in this price point are out of stock and are experiencing very long delays. Wolf cabinets, formerly a reliable inexpensive brand has new factories in the mid-west that seem to have quality control issues. Main Line Kitchen Design has been lucky with the two less expensive brands we carry – CNC and Fabuwood.
However, damage and shipping problems have increased particularly with CNC.
The mid-priced brands that we carry have increased lead times of a couple of extra weeks and the custom lines we carry are so busy that 3 months seems to be the fastest that we can get custom cabinetry.
Staying on top of all these external issues is especially challenging when Main Line Kitchen Design’s sales are up 120% from last year. I am particularly proud of the job we are doing. And the job we are doing maintaining good customer relations when some of our customers are understandably less patient after a year of social distancing.
On the positive side of all this is that the kitchens we are designing and selling in the last 6 months are particularly creative and beautiful. Our designers are all very experienced and creative, but I believe that Zoom meetings have allowed us to spend the additional time needed with customers to hit the design home runs I see flying across my desk.
Here’s a link to our cabinet brands.
Looking forward to more normal times and to our Friday company lunches at Ryan Christopher’s in Narberth.
8 Replies to “Kitchen Cabinet Sales are Heating Up.”
Thanks for the update!
Just wanted to update you on the Fabuwood kitchen. The cabinets have been unboxed today and there was no damage whatsoever in shipping them from NJ to Orlando. They are beautiful! Thank you for all the info you provide on what to look for in a well constructed cabinet. This line made perfect sense for us as we did not want custom upgrades or finishes, just good, solid construction and some basic amenities (even though Fabuwood offers many options). The cabinet installer is so impressed with the quality and even commented on the Blum hinges and soft close features. I’ll let you know when the kitchen is complete!
Thank you, Paul! I will be able to report on the condition of the cabinets since you said new trainees might create some issues. The boxes are all in good shape but we haven’t opened them yet. I thought it might be better if the GC discovered damage, if any. I will let you know how the Fabuwood kitchen turns out!
Let us know how everything turns out on your daughters kitchen. Any questions or problems she can call our helpline podcast Fridays 2-4pm EST. 610-500-4071
Thank you, Paul! It looks like the cabinets are finished on the bottom enough to go without a light rail. The cabinets are shaker style so we’re on the same page. Thanks for the reassurance! The top trim will be very much like that in the beautiful kitchen pictured in your post.
On shaker door styles I don’t like the look of the light rail. However, most of our other designers do, so it’s a matter of personal taste. I’m with you though. 🙂
My experience is in line with your blog post. My daughter is doing a Fabuwood kitchen and the cabinets were delivered in less than 3 weeks, from NJ to the southeast. They are still in the boxes and will be installed at the end of this week, so I’ll let you know how it goes. I see in the photo above that the Fabuwood design does not seem to have the light rail trim, is that correct? We don’t really care for the trim but ordered it because we thought that was the right thing to do. What do you think?!