Noble House Home Furnishings joined the ranks of furniture suppliers to file for bankruptcy earlier this month, with the company blaming cost inflation and past supply chain disruptions, among other challenges.
When the company filed for Chapter 11, it owed suppliers and warehousers in its supply chain some $10 million from the period leading up to its bankruptcy, according to a court filing. Trade debts from importers and vendors in China and Vietnam make up a majority of the largest claims by the company’s unsecured creditors.
Since filing, Noble House asked for and received court permission to make emergency payments to keep its suppliers in good stead and prevent warehousers from seizing inventory. Without the ability to pay claims to vendors as they arise, Noble House would face “significant disruption to [the company’s] operations at this critical time,” it said in the filing.
Founded in 1992, the family-owned company drop-ships merchandise for some of the largest retailers in the U.S., including Amazon, Walmart, Costco, Wayfair, Overstock, Target and Home Depot, the company’s current CFO, Gayla Bella, said in court papers. Among its wholesale customers are off-price giants Ross Stores and TJX Cos.
For Noble House, rising lead times and inventory costs contributed to its financial malaise.
Bella noted that “rising and persistent inflation, and supply chain challenges have put significant downward pressure on the Company’s business.” Those challenges, combined with liquidity shortfalls and falling sales, became a crisis.
Noble House carries a core product base of 8,000 SKUs and sources from a network of more than 50 suppliers, based mainly in China, Malaysia, Vietnam and India. With the majority of its merchandise originating in China, it was prone to logistics and production disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As it tried to stem the bleeding this year, the company cut costs by reducing headcount and optimizing its inventory management, according to Bella. It also vacated a distribution facility in Edgewater, New Jersey.
But those efforts weren’t enough to keep the company out of bankruptcy. Now in Chapter 11, Noble House is looking to sell itself.
The company entered bankruptcy with a baseline bid from the logistics and technology firm GigaCloud Technology to buy it for $85 million.
Noble House’s filing comes shortly after that of fellow home goods supplier Mitchell Gold Co., which shut down abruptly, citing a shortfall of cash and dispute with its lender in its Chapter 11 filing.
Among Mitchell Gold Co.’s customers is the luxury furniture retailer RH. The latter company’s CEO, Gary Friedman, said that RH did not anticipate any interruptions from its supplier’s bankruptcy or from broader risk in the supply chain.