If what this alleged Restoration Hardware employee says is true, the home furnishings chain may have just sacrificed its last remaining claim to distinction—high quality, American-made furniture—in an effort to increase profits. Supposedly, shoppers will see the effect of outsourced furniture through lower prices. RH furniture was always known to be fairly good stuff, if not cheap—can we now expect cheap but not good?
The employee writes:
I’ve worked part-time for Restoration Hardware for 3 years and during that time I have been amazed by some of illogical crap we’re supposed to feed our customers. However, they’ve really reached a fascinating new level. The store is now outsourcing all of its furniture to China. This has been gradually happening over the past two years, one product line at a time and they’ve finally decided to take the full on plunge and outsource all upholstered furniture and all but two or three collections of the wood furniture.
This was announced last night at our annual fall meeting. An entire section of the meeting was devoted to why outsourcing to China would not lower the quality of our furniture one bit. Not one iota. It would be exactly the same. 100%. Identical. It would just save the company $10 million. And allow all of us grateful urchins to keep our lucrative $8 an hour careers flourishing (insert threatening glare from management in case any of the political types want to get noisy) And the company isn’t greedy! It will pass these Chinese savings on to the customers—our super fine furnishings will be sold at a lower price point. But the exact same quality!!
All of these years we sales associates were told that the higher prices at Restoration Hardware were justified because our furniture was superior, handcrafted in America at companies with extremely high quality assurance standards that could be openly evaluated and monitored. We passed this information on to the customers and showed them how to evaluate the quality of the pieces, etc. And it turns out, we were big fat liars. All of you previous Restoration Hardware furniture buyers who paid extra money for your “quality” pieces were duped! Because it turns out, it can all just be made on an assembly line in China and you can get the identical quality for a lot less money. Hahahahaha! Dumbasses.
Or wait, maybe the company is lying now. Actually, you can’t get the identical quality furniture made more cheaply in China. It will be a product of lesser quality but the company is hoping really hard that charging a couple of hundred dollars less will mean that people will be blinded by the good deal.
As a sales associate it will be hard to pick which line to go with—the company I work for used to lie a lot but is now honest or the company I work for is lying now but for savings savings savings!
At any rate, I’m interviewing for a new part-time position today. My standards may not be high but they at least exist.