Another Pennsylvania cabinet company Solid Wood Cabinets went bankrupt and closed last week. The Solid Wood Cabinetry bankruptcy followed Wood-Mode Cabinetry’s closure last year.
While both companies occupied completely different ends of the cabinet market both companies had several similarities as well.
Among the similarities was that both of these cabinet lines made well-constructed cabinets in their price point. Solid Wood was a very inexpensive RTA cabinet line but still made well-constructed cabinetry. Wood-Mode Cabinetry was a well-respected high end custom cabinet line that offered the highest quality cabinetry.
Both cabinet companies, probably because of their niches, were favored by contractors who generally considered them a good value.
Unfortunately, both companies also closed without warning. Leaving their customers, contractors, and employees stuck in a financial and logistical mess. Paid for cabinetry was suddenly unavailable often only a few days after being purchased or just prior to delivery. Paychecks and jobs vanished.
There were similarities that both companies shared that may have led to their problems. While both occupied opposite ends of the cabinet market they were both not inexpensive for the product that they offered. There were very beautiful less expensive custom cabinet lines than Wood-Mode and better values in inexpensive cabinetry than Solid Wood Cabinetry.
One similarity between both companies that magnified their bankruptcies was that many of the cabinet dealers and showrooms that sold these lines, ONLY sold these lines. So once the line went out of business there were no other cabinet lines for their dealers to offer. This short-sighted approach to the cabinet industry points towards other short sighted business models that made both of these cabinet companies vulnerable.
Wood-Mode made designing kitchens more difficult and time consuming for kitchen designers. They operated the way they always had with little accommodation to our changing culture. Solid Wood offered almost no design services at all. It was simply “selling boxes”. Both companies had terrible websites. These issues expose a lack of innovation that may be at the center of why both companies failed.
We live in rapidly changing times and so the companies that will excel will be the companies that can adapt rapidly and be willing to change. Investing in the future requires at the very least having an up-to-date website.
This is why Main Line Kitchen Design is a Blue Ocean Company and tries to stay current and cutting edge in the kitchen world. For example, our team just returned from The National Kitchen and Bath Industry Show KBIS and the International Builders Show IBS held in Las Vegas last week. I’ll post some of what we learned in the coming weeks. Our industry continues to change and fascinate.
Who says designing kitchens can’t be fun!
Paul, Julie, Ed, Chris, Lauren, Tom and Stacia
Main Line Kitchen Design