Furniture shipments delayed from China

A major furniture retail and wholesale company in Dunedin says its orders from China are being delayed as a result of the Covid-19 shutdown there.

My Mate John’s Furniture Warehouse imports most of its stock from China and the company has concerns over its ability to get stock in the coming months.

Director Pete Williamson said the company’s back orders were being delayed.

"We import a lot of furniture from China, particularly beds and lounge suites. What it means for us is a potential for a disruption to our supply chain here in the store. Long term, if things don’t change, then [there is] the possibility of running out of stock."

Mr Williamson said the situation was likely to lead to a shift from relying on China too heavily.

"We are relying on them pretty heavily. I don’t think we’re the only industry that does that and I think there’s impacts across the board for all of us here in New Zealand.

My Mate John’s Furniture Warehouse director Pete Williamson says he has been communicating with...
My Mate John’s Furniture Warehouse director Pete Williamson says he has been communicating with contacts in China but it is hard to get accurate information about what is going on. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
"It is possibly a good wake-up call for a lot of people in New Zealand to have a look at where the goods are coming from, have alternatives and other supply options. It’s certainly something we’ll be looking at in the future."

The company had several warehouses based near its main shop on Stafford St in Dunedin that were full of stock for now.

"We carry a huge amount of stock.

"At the moment we’re fully stocked, so the storerooms are completely full. So there’s absolutely no problems in terms of supply at the moment. It’s more looking to the future and the ramifications of that virus."

The company imported furniture through Port Otago and had about a shipping container a week arrive at the store.

It would also wholesale product to furniture stores in Invercargill and Oamaru.

Mr Williamson said he had been communicating with contacts in China but it was hard to get accurate information about what was going on.

"But we’re in contact with the guys over there and they’re working pretty hard to get things up and running."

The company did import from other countries and it was considering diversifying where it got stock to avoid future supply shortages, Mr Williamson said.

He expected things to slowly get back on track.

"There will continue to be delays. For us, it will be managing those delays and doing the best we can.

"You always have the issue of running low on stock and then it all arriving at once, which can then go from famine to feast a little bit.

"It’s all exciting stuff for us."


It is not only the commercial sector that has delayed goods. -- The delivery of private sales from China to the general public are being held up as well. --

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