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ISBN NO. 1543-3803
FURNITURE MAGAZINE™
December 2017
Volume 9 No. 12


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Back to Questions | Disclaimer You Should Read

I am in the process of furnishing my home and have a couple of questions. I like traditional style furniture such as Baker,Henkel Harris, and Stickley. Which do you think is the highest quality between these lines. Are they all still made in America?


It does my heart good to hear someone asking about such lines as Baker, Henkel Harris and Stickley. The furniture industry is awash in imported junk these days, and consumers expectation's have been lowered so much by catalog and chain stores. I often use car analogies because it seems everyone can relate to them. The industry today is selling Yugos and Chevrolets. Remember the Yugo? And there's nothing wrong with Chevrolets, but face it, a Chevy is, well... not even a Honda. Then, in the midst of the madding crowd a beautiful person like you stands up and says, "I'm interested in knowing which is better, the BMW 740i, the Lexus ES or the Mercedes Benz C Class?" My answer would be, "Yes. Get one of each." Baker, Henkel Harris and Stickley are close competitors of each other. I would be hard pressed to say one is better than the other. You should also add Waterford, Statton, Burton-Ching, and Karges. http://www.furnituremagazine.com/FP/Content/28.htm And don't rule out Colonial or Harden. As far as I know, Colonial and Harden are the only ones exclusively made in the US. I believe the others use a combination of: importing parts and assembling in the US, to bringing in assorted pieces made entirely overseas., but you should check with a store about that because it changes constantly. If you were to get furniture from any of the companies above you would be making a wise investment for yourself and future generations who will one day appreciate your good taste. Putting them all on an equal footing then I would fairly ask, which is the better value? ie, which gives you the most furniture for the least money? Tough question. I would look first for which company does not require their dealers to charge minimum retail prices. That would be my first and only consideration. Minimum Retail Prices force a dealer to maintain a price "floor", a price which they cannot go below. This keep all the dealers on an equal footing but it also prevents any dealer from getting competitive and aggressive in their prices. Assume we had a Lexus ES and Mercedes Benz C side by side with the identical options and features. Absolutely no difference between them other than the logo. You like the ride, comfort, performance of both and simply cannot make up your mind. When you get down to negotiating price though you find that the Lexus Corporation will not allow any dealer, anywhere to sell that car for less than $43,000. Mercedes-Benz however, tells their dealers to get the sale. Make the deal, sell the car. Your local dealer is hungry for business and will go to $39,500. Which car will you get? Probably the Benz, unless you decide that all things considered you just like the styling better on the Lexus and you'll pay the price. It is the same in the furniture industry at the high end. As far as which companies have MRP you will have to ask because there is so much animosity and angst going on right now in the industry over this issue that I prefer not to get sued. Hope this helps. Let me know which you decide on. Dwight Ball
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